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The Louvre's Glass Pyramid, Gone!

Artist JR is back at it again with the large scale optical illusions.
Image courtesy the artist

The Louvre's massive glass pyramid, designed by Chinese architect I.M. Pei and installed in 1988, has disappeared. In its stead, a shard of the famous Paris art museum has been drained of color, as if the translucent panes have become some sort of living Instagram filter. What's actually going on is that French artist JR, known for dramatic large-scale art, clever optical illusions, and an eagle eye for social issues, has covered the structure with anamorphically exact renditions of the 16th century facades beyond, complete with a tiny French flag sticking out the top.


"I am a fan of Ieoh Ming Pei," JR tells The Creators Project. "I read an interview and I was impressed by his willingness to make the pyramid discreet: he wanted it to blend into its environment. I share with him this attention to context, I adapt my photographs to the city around them, to the architecture. Hundreds of tourists take selfies with the pyramid everyday, so I wanted to make it harder for them by removing the pyramid, so that they actively look for it, that they move around to find the best spot to take the picture."


The cheeky artwork will remain in place for a month, during which time JR will lead a 24-hour takeover of the museum. According to the Wall Street Journal, on May 28 he'll host, "a series of screenings, workshops, magic shows and a concert by Nils Frahm and Ólafur Arnalds." Additionally, there will be appearances from Daniel Buren, filmmaker Agnès Varda, Cara Delevingne, and members of Arcade Fire. This is the latest in the artist's series of high profile collaborations, which include Darren AronofskyNYT MagazineStephen Colbert, and Robert DeNiro.


The artist and his art. @daliouchhh

JR's version of the pyramid will be on view through June 28. Check out more of the artist's work on his website.


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