Meet Elmar, the giant pedestrian pasted onto a New York City pedestrian plaza by artist JR

Art City Terrain East Media
(Courtesy New York Times Magazine)

(Courtesy New York Times Magazine)

The artist JR described his latest gargantuan artwork best in a Tweet sent out this morning, “People walked on him all day without noticing him…now he is on the cover and everyone else is in the shadow.” That cover is the new special issue of The New York Times Magazine, which features the larger-than-life pedestrian completely filling up the Flatiron pedestrian plaza next to Madison Square Park.

The cover and the artwork were announced this morning by Times Magazine Editor-in-Chief Jake Silverstein, who explained that the plaza was just photographed with a helicopter. The magazine’s Director of Photography Kathy Ryan described the cover as in terms as big as the artwork itself, “Our biggest, wildest, most fun cover ever.”

JR is known for his larger-than-life pasted-paper faces and bodies that often appear on the sides of buildings and other monumental objects. Over time, the images fade and disappear.

“Last month the New York Times Magazine…reached out to me to think about a project together,” JR said on his website. He had been working on his Immigration series and chose to continue the theme. “So, we started looking for people who arrived less than a year ago,” JR continued. “We pasted Elmar, 20 years old who came from Azerbaijan, on the floor of Flat Iron Plaza in New York City.”

The 150-foot-tall Elmar is now on view in the plaza and the new issue of The New York Times Magazine will hit newsstands this Sunday.

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