arts

Artist JR's optical illusion blows the top off the Great Pyramid

Updated 3rd November 2021
Artist JR's optical illusion blows the top off the Great Pyramid
Written by Aimee Dawson
This article was originally published by The Art Newspaper, an editorial partner of CNN Style.
In his latest optical illusion, the street artist JR has ripped open the top of one of the Great Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt.
The work is part of a trail of large-scale sculptures and installations by 10 contemporary artists. The exhibition "Forever is Now" (until November 7), billed as the first event of its kind at the 4,500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site, is organized by Art D'Egypte, a company that aims to promote Egyptian art with annual exhibitions at historic sites.
Another angle of JR's artwork.
Another angle of JR's artwork. Credit: Courtesy Art D'Égypte
"The exhibition represents a merging of ancient heritage and contemporary art," said a statement by Art d'Egypte. "We wanted to show the link between our history and our present that will last forever ... the deep global impact of ancient Egypt, and the continuity of this impact through contemporary arts."
At a packed press conference at Giza on Thursday, the artist Lorenzo Quinn spoke emotionally about his commission at the ancient site. "I have no words to express my true feelings right now," he said. "The reason I chose to create this work for this site is to honor the fact that society always works better and can surpass any obstacle when it works together. It is a historical event. It is a true honor."
Here are all the works on show:

Sultan bin Fahad's "R III"

A view of Sultan bin Fahad's "R III" before the Pyramids.
A view of Sultan bin Fahad's "R III" before the Pyramids. Credit: Courtesy MO4 Network/Art D'Égypte

João Trevisan's "Body That Rises"

João Trevisan's "Body That Rises" illuminated at night.
João Trevisan's "Body That Rises" illuminated at night. Credit: Courtesy MO4 Network/Art D'Égypte

Gisela Colón's "Eternity Now"

A view of Gisela Colón's spherical metallic sculpture by the Great Pyramids.
A view of Gisela Colón's spherical metallic sculpture by the Great Pyramids. Credit: Courtesy MO4 Network/Art D'Égypte

Stephen Cox "Ra's Interior Space: Khafre"

A spectator views Stephen Cox Ra's "Interior Space: Khafre."
A spectator views Stephen Cox Ra's "Interior Space: Khafre." Credit: Courtesy MO4 Network/Art D'Égypte

Shuster + Moseley's "(Plan of the Path of Light) In the House of Hidden Places"

Sunlight glints off Shuster + Moseley's "(Plan of the Path of Light) In the House of Hidden Places."
Sunlight glints off Shuster + Moseley's "(Plan of the Path of Light) In the House of Hidden Places." Credit: Courtesy MO4 Network/Art D'Égypte

Alexander Ponomarev's "Ouroboros"

Alexander Ponomarev's "Ouroboros" on display.
Alexander Ponomarev's "Ouroboros" on display. Credit: Courtesy MO4 Network/Art D'Égypte

Moataz Nasr's "Barzakh"

A photograph of "Barzakh" by Moataz Nasr.
A photograph of "Barzakh" by Moataz Nasr. Credit: Courtesy MO4 Network/Art D'Égypte

Lorenzo Quinn's "Together"

Two wireframe hands touch fingertips in Lorenzo Quinn's "Together."
Two wireframe hands touch fingertips in Lorenzo Quinn's "Together." Credit: Courtesy MO4 Network/Art D'Égypte
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