JR and Liu Bolin teamed up to make the Louvre’s iconic glass pyramid disappear with themselves in it.
I.M. Pei’s iconic glass pyramid at the Louvre was subject to great debate when it was commissioned and completed in the 1980s but quickly became accepted as a beloved icon of Paris. For one weekend in May, French artist known as JR offered visitors a glimpse of the museum sans pyramid. The self-described “photograffeur” achieved a kind of trompe l’oeil effect with his signature method of large-scale, black-and-white photography.
Whereas JR is known for his highly visible (and at-times illegal) wheatpastes in major cities all over the world, his sometime collaborator Liu Bolin has made his name by disappearing into the background. The Chinese artist literally paints himself into his photographs — not after the fact but physically, in the scenes themselves. Thus, JR’s two-day “camouflage” project culminated with a joint performance. Documentation of the publicly staged piece is available as the latest edition of Liu’s ongoing “Hidden in the City” series of works via Magda Danysz gallery, which represents both artists.