Watch the Creation And Destruction of a Giant Piece of Public Art by JR in Manhattan

April 23, 2015 | Liam Mathews

This time-lapse video documents the lifespan of a piece by the French artist JR, from placement to removal. JR creates photographic portraits and pastes them up (or down, in this case) on city streets. For this work, JR took a photo of Elmar Aliyev, a recent immigrant to Brooklyn from Azerbaijan, and then pasted the portrait on the Flatiron plaza on 23rd Street. It’s really cool to watch the hours tick by, from sunrise to sunset, and watch the shadows of buildings sail across Elmar’s body as the sun moves across the sky. It was commissioned for the upcoming issue of the New York Times Magazine, which is called “Walking New York,” and will include a section where New Yorkers talk about their favorite routes for taking a stroll.