Lonely Planet Writer

The Louvre’s iconic Pyramid will be 'transformed' through street art exhibit this summer

A French street artist will ‘transform’ the iconic Pyramid at the Louvre this summer through a work of anamorphic art.

JR – a French street artist known for his work around the world and as the winner of the 2011 TED Prize – will hold an exhibit scheduled from 25 May to 27 June at the Paris museum. The exhibit is set for the Louvre Auditorium and the Cour Napoleon, which is the new entrance to the museum through the Pyramid designed by I.M. Pei.

According to the museum’s website, JR “has chosen the biggest gallery in the world to showcase his art: public spaces”.

Now, “invited by the ‘biggest museum in the world’—which also generates the most selfies—JR has set his sights on one of the Louvre’s symbols, the Pyramid, which he intends to transform with a surprising anamorphic image”.

The Pyramid at the Louvre in Paris.
The Pyramid at the Louvre in Paris. Image by Dennis Jarvis / CC BY-SA 2.0

An anamorphic image uses distorted perspective, so the viewer can only see the intended image when at a particular vantage point.

Artnet News reports that “through the use of portraiture, the artist proposes to eliminate the pyramid using the principle of anamorphosis—a distortion of perspective which requires the viewer to occupy a specific vantage point to reconstitute the image”.

While the museum’s website gives few details on what the art exhibit will actually look like, JP posted an image to his Instagram page of a black-and-white photo of the Louvre with the Pyramid torn away.