The Louvre’s Glass Pyramid Hides in Plain Sight, Thanks to This Trompe-l’œil Display

And so the Pyramid disappear … @museelouvre #Paris (until 28th of June) –

A photo posted by JR (@jr) on

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The Louvre’s glass pyramid, a sculpture by architect I.M. Pei, stands in the courtyard of the building for all to see … until now, due to this trompe-l’œil art installation by a French street artist who goes by JR. The 70-foot glass structure has been decked out with a black-and-white photograph of the building behind it, thereby making it appear as though the pyramid has disappeared, and as though the Louvre has undergone an unusual paint job.

Onlookers have to stand at just the right angle in order for the pyramid to “disappear.” The trompe-l’œil piece had to be angled just so, due to the slant of the pyramid. If you stand directly in front of it, as can be seen in the photo above, everything will line up!

In a Wall Street Journal story about the installation, JR explained the intent behind the piece: “Walking around, I realized people turn their back on the pyramid to take a selfie, they don’t look at it. I am curious to see how people will react now … I always seek to attract people’s attention toward something, generally other people. Here, it is the absence of something that will make people bond.”

JR will also be presenting an art exhibit on the inside of the Louvre, as well. This installation on the pyramid will be on display through June 27, and JR’s ongoing exhibition inside of the museum will begin on May 28.

(via Gizmodo, image via JR on Instagram)

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Author
Maddy Myers
Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).