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Massive Optical Illusion Meticulously Installed Over Four Days Around The Louvre Is Destroyed By Tourists After Just One

Massive Optical Illusion Meticulously Installed Over Four Days Around The Louvre Is Destroyed By Tourists After Just One
seng chye teo/Contributor/Getty Images / @EllaEscapismus/Twitter

It took combined effort of an artist and 400 volunteers to transform the Louvre's main courtyard into a stunning work of art.

The project took 400 people and nearly 2,000 pieces of paper to complete.

And it took tourists about one day to destroy.

The artist, a well-known French street artist known only as JR, said this was supposed to happen, however.

The piece was partially intended to comment on the impermanence of life.

"The images, like life, are ephemeral. Once pasted, the art piece lives on its own."
"The sun dries the light glue and with every step, people tear pieces of the fragile paper. The process is all about participation of volunteers, visitors, and souvenir catchers."

The installation transformed the entire main courtyard into what looked like an x-ray view of the foundations of the pyramid.

The installation was absolutely stunning.

The process of its destruction was amazing to see, as well.

The work that went into transforming the entire main courtyard was no small feat.

It took those 400 volunteers four whole days to accomplish it.

It is still a little uncomfortable to see the work destroyed, even knowing that the artist intended it, much like thoughts of the impermanence of our own lives.

The world lost an amazing artist, and friend to JR, on Saturday while the installation was being done: Agnès Varda.

Varda was a well-known French-Belgian film director, photographer and installation artist. Varda made the very first French New Wave film, back in 1954, and devoted the rest of her life to the arts.

The two have been friends for years, and collaborated on the film Faces Places, which documented their travels around France and doing art installations and interacting with the people.

You can see a trailer for Faces Places below.

Faces Places (Visages, Villages) – Trailer official (English) from Cannes (new)

The film, Faces Places, is available here in multiple formats.

JR dedicated the Louvre installation to Agnès in a tweet, saying he'd made something that was visible from the sky, so he was sure she could see it.

The people of Twitter were stunned by the scope and beauty of the installation and JR's dedication to finishing it.

Art is impermanent, as are we, and being reminded of that often makes people uncomfortable.

That discomfort, though, can be a powerful reminder to live in the moment and do what we can with the time we have.