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Clever Art Installation Makes the Louvre's Pyramid Disappear

Since 1989, the three-story glass pyramid in front of the Louvre has been just as much a part of the museum as the artwork inside. That is, until French artist JR got a hold of it: From now through June 27, the Louvre's pyramid will be part of an art installation that makes the Paris icon appear to vanish from view, The Wall Street Journal reports.

To erase the pyramid from the museum's courtyard, a team of six people spent days plastering it with large black-and-white photos of the buildings that surround it. The final product is an optical illusion that makes the structure seem to disappear when viewed from a certain angle. The finishing touches were made on the project this week, and it will remain up as part of JR's month-long exhibition at the museum.

JR is a street artist best known for his large portraits of ordinary people. His Louvre installation marks the first time he hasn't included human faces in his work, and unlike some of his other projects, it was something he received permission to do. JR's collaboration with the museum will extend even further on May 28, when the artist will stage a 24-hour Louvre takeover featuring screenings, workshops, magic shows, and a concert.

Getty

Getty

[h/t The Wall Street Journal]

Original image
Courtesy Chronicle Books
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Design
Inside This Pop-Up Book Are a Planetarium, a Speaker, a Decoder Ring, and More
Original image
Courtesy Chronicle Books

Designer Kelli Anderson's new book is for more than just reading. This Book Is a Planetarium is really a collection of paper gadgets. With each thick, card stock page you turn, another surprise pops out.

"This book concisely explains—and actively demonstrates with six functional pop-up paper contraptions—the science at play in our everyday world," the book's back cover explains. It turns out, there's a whole lot you can do with a few pieces of paper and a little bit of imagination.

A book is open to reveal a spiralgraph inside.
Courtesy Chronicle Books

There's the eponymous planetarium, a paper dome that you can use with your cell phone's flashlight to project constellations onto the ceiling. There's a conical speaker, which you can use to amplify a smaller music player. There's a spiralgraph you can use to make geometric designs. There's a basic cipher you can use to encode and decode secret messages, and on its reverse side, a calendar. There's a stringed musical instrument you can play on. All are miniature, functional machines that can expand your perceptions of what a simple piece of paper can become.

The cover of This Book Is a Planetarium
Courtesy Chronicle Books
Original image
Noriyuki Saitoh
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Art
Japanese Artist Crafts Intricate Insects Using Bamboo
Original image
Noriyuki Saitoh

Not everyone finds insects beautiful. Some people think of them as scary, disturbing, or downright disgusting. But when Japanese artist Noriyuki Saitoh looks at a discarded cicada shell or a feeding praying mantis, he sees inspiration for his next creation.

Saitoh’s sculptures, spotted over at Colossal, are crafted by hand from bamboo. He uses the natural material to make some incredibly lifelike pieces. In one example, three wasps perch on a piece of honeycomb. In another, two mating dragonflies create a heart shape with their abdomens.

The figures he creates aren’t meant to be exact replicas of real insects. Rather, Saitoh starts his process with a list of dimensions and allows room for creativity when fine-tuning the appearances. The sense of movement and level of detail he puts into each sculpture is what makes them look so convincing.

You can browse the artist’s work on his website or follow him on social media for more stunning samples from his portfolio.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

Bamboo insect.

[h/t Colossal]

All images courtesy of Noriyuki Saitoh.

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