JR and the Louvre Pyramid

30 years ago, March 29, 1989, the Louvre Pyramid, imagined by the Chinese-American architect I.M.Pei (still alive, 101 years old) was inaugurated by François Mitterrand.  The pyramid, has since, especially in the beginning, been criticized by many, loved by others (like me).

So, 30 years later, it was time for a celebration and JR got the job. JR does not only stand for Larry Hagman. It goes also for Jean René, a French photographer and graffiti artist, who works all over the globe. At the bottom of this post I have put together some of his works – ”stolen” on the net, as several other pictures in this post. 

JR already made a Pyramid installation in 2016, when he made it “disappear” – I wrote about it here. He has made several other installations in Paris. I wrote about what he did at the Paris Pantheon in 2014 here.

This time JR wanted the Pyramid to be more than visible, to somehow show what could be underground, under the top that we all normally can see. (In reality, we know that there is a commercial centre, entrances to the museum…)

During two days a some 400 volunteers, working in shifts, helped JR - cutting, spreading out sheets...

Rather late, March 29, 2019, we could see the result – on a large screen – filmed from above.

The following day, we could all walk on the decorations that had been so carefully designed and spread out all over the place. In a few days, nothing will be left - except some photos… You may actually have a doubt: Is this enormous installation, which finally could be seen only by a camera and lasted, untouched, only a few hours, the best 30th anniversary solution? One thing that I really liked though was the nice atmosphere and the smiling volunteering helpers!

JR was a good friend of the film director Agnès Varda – they made a movie together and he joined her when she received an honorary Oscar last autumn. She died at the age of 90, on this very same date – March 29, 2019.  

... and, as promised, here are some other examples of JR installations.


Gunn said...

I saw the film Versages and Villages Friday evening.
Agnes Varda films are great. Looking for more now.
I remembered JR, when I saw this photo... He looks just the same, as in the film.

Anonymous said...

The mythical Louvre is the only museum in the world whose main entrance is a work of art?
And how about that first photo? Wow!
Thank you, Peter.

Studio at the Farm said...

Very good post, Peter - thank you! I had not heard of JR before, but I do like his ambitious works.


MadAboutParis said...

Fabulous post Peter - comme d'habitude I have questions.
1. Did you take the photo of JR with the pyramid reflected in his sunglasses? If so BRAVO!
2. Have the masses ("souvenir sleeze-bags") already torn up his work?

Mary Gilbert

PeterParis said...

Mary, the answers are YES (thanks for your "bravo") and YES!