Thousands of athletes have travelled to Rio in the past two weeks, which was expected–it’s the Olympics, after all. What wasn’t expected was the larger-than-life King Kong athletes who showed up too. French artist, JR, has created two giant art installations in the city as part of his ‘Inside Out’ project. These pieces use scaffolding frames to stay upright and took days to create, and the end result is quite impressive.
— Olympics (@Olympics) August 8, 2016
One of the two pieces is of Mohamed Younis Idris, an athlete from Sudan, high jumping over a residential complex. Idris missed out on qualifiers because of an injury but JR explains that he brought him to Rio anyway. His Instagram further explains the art project and what inspired it.
80 years ago the Olympics happened in Berlin. Hitler wanted to use them to demonstrate the supremacy of the Aryan race. Today they will open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a “mixed race” country (“país mestiço”). Even though Brazil is going through political and economic turmoil and the necessity of the Games at this moment can spark controversy, the Olympic spirit will joyfully be welcomed by the people tonight. This is Mohamed, a Sudanese athlete who couldn’t make it to the Games because of an injury. He still came to Rio and jumps over a building in Flamengo. #IOPrio2016 ( address : aterro do Flamengo, best point to see it: in front of the former Porcão s Rio)
A photo posted by JR (@jr) on
The other also depicts an athlete who couldn’t make it to the games. Leonie Perio is a French triathlete who JR decided deserved a second chance too. This piece actually sits in the water and seems as though it was quite a challenge to get it there.
And finally this piece is in the water in Botafogo Bay in Rio… :))) @leonieperio is now swimming in the city even she’s not here this time! #ioprio2016 #Rio … A special thanks to @malubarretto who fought like an athletes with the navy so that this piece could be in the water… 🙏 team work @emile @guillaumelefrancois @camille @marc @natachalangmantil @alabaz @guillaumecagniard
The artist also displayed some art in his signature style–photo collages–and extended his ‘Inside Out’ project in several more places around Rio.
Looks like this guy deserves the gold medal in Olympic art creation. It had to have taken great athleticism to put up these huge displays too. Somebody start singing the French national anthem, we’re giving this artist top Olympic honors.