Australian artist unveils ‘Red Bull Curates: Jigsaw’ made of 63 containers in Dubai

Guido van Helten, an Australian artist has created a large Jigsaw which consists of 63 containers and measures 135 metres long and 12 metres high. Red Bull Curates – Jigsaw is indeed a monstrous artistic creation from the artist.

Consisting of a pair of eyes, it is the largest reconfigurable format street art in the world, and took 18 days and 288 man-hours to complete, the artist using 500 litres of paint for the 207-tonne art installation. Two 100-tonne cranes had to be used over the course of 48 hours to position the painted containers to form the gargantuan jigsaw at 117LIVE’s Autism Rocks Arena by the city’s Dubai Outlet Mall on Al Ain road. Painted in an original deconstructed format, the giant pieces come together with the help of the aforementioned cranes to reveal the eye-catching record-breaking image.

Van Helten was roaming around the city, photographing and looking for a subject, when he found a camel herder working a couple of hundred meters away from the actual site.

“I’ve always seen Dubai as this global place,” said the artist. “For me, it’s always been a stopover from Australia to Europe. I’ve never witnessed what it’s like to be here. I’ve had preconceptions about the place that have been thrown out the window. Of course, there is a world of money and business but behind that there are everyday people who are working everyday jobs. I did not realize how much of a diverse place it is. I didn’t realize how many different cultures there are in the city. So I approached them and offered myself as somebody who is interested in what they are doing there.”

Best known for his large-scale, site-specific murals, the Australian artist’s breath-taking monochromatic portraits adorn walls around the world from Utah to the Ukraine.Working in a photorealistic style, the highly talented artist creates delicate and elegant pieces with an overall atmosphere of melancholy and a deeply sentimental quality.

When asked how the art piece came to life, van Helten said, “I don’t think it’s something that has ever been done, and I see shipping containers as very interesting objects now. They’re all around the world and they move. They have a life of their own. They represent trade and global connections. I see them moving around. I see them at the ports being loaded on ships and they go off and a live a life of their own.”


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