'Greetings from Giza,' an installation by the artist JR, Cairo, Egypt
© Ammar ABD RABBO/Abaca Press/Alam
Don't let appearances fool you today. April Fools' Day
In honor of April Fools' Day, take a moment to appreciate this trick of the eye created by the French street artist and photographer who goes by the name JR. He's known for surreptitiously posting large black-and-white photographs in public locations, often in humorous contexts. This cheeky public-art piece from 2021 was installed in the desert sands of the Giza pyramid complex in Egypt. The installation makes it look as if the detached tip of the Pyramid of Khafre magically hovers above its base.
Khafre is the second-largest pyramid in the Giza complex, smaller only than the Great Pyramid, whose capstone has been missing for all of modern history. (That's no joke.) The Great Pyramid's missing top has been the subject of much speculation and scholarly pursuit. This complex of pyramids was built around 2,600 to 2,500 BCE.
Visual illusions in art, a technique known as trompe l'oeil, are a specialty of JR, born in Paris in 1983 to a Tunisian mother. He always appears in public wearing a fedora and sunglasses, and has revealed very little of his identity. The enigmatic artist is most famous for making the glass-and-metal Louvre pyramid 'disappear.'