Guido van Helten’s epic Jigsaw creation was unveiled in Dubai this week. The massive installation was painted out of formation before being assembled to reveal the final artwork. This project was created by Red Bull Curates, and the film was directed by Selina Miles.
Measuring 135 metres long and 12 metres high in total, Jigsaw took Guido a total of 288 hours to complete. Spread over 18 days, it was definitely challenging bringing this project to life under the Dubai heat. Two 100-tonne cranes had to be used over the course of 48 hours to position the painted containers. The completed installation consists of a pair of eyes. The inspiration behind the piece came about after Guido scoured the city, looking for a subject, when he came across a man working nearby the site.
About the subject, Guido said: “One of the young guys, probably about my age, was shy when I took a photo of him, but I saw honesty in his eyes and that’s what I liked about it. These people are honest, hardworking people and I had many images to work from but a lot of them weren’t that suited to the space and I can’t really explain much better than that. It’s based on feeling some sort of soul.”
This project brought Guido van Helten to the UAE for the first time. About his experience in Dubai, he said: “I didn’t realise that it was such a diverse place, I didn’t realise how many different cultures there are in this city. I think our exploration has been about trying to find some soul to a place, and before I came here I had no idea what this city was about. It’s generally seen as a place of money and wealth, and I like the fact that most of the people that I’ve encountered have been down to earth, warm, generous people who have been very welcoming. The subject of the piece was very unexpected; he was an unexpected choice out of all the people we met.”
The artwork will remain on permanent display at Autism Rocks Arena near Dubai Outlet Mall, on Al Ain Road, Dubai.
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