See How An Artist Is Breaking Records And Helping Kids
He's hoping to change the world with his larger-than-life work of art, and children from all over the world will be a part of it.
While most of us have spent the past five months in quarantine trying to stay sane, locked up with our families all day, others have been a bit more productive with their time. (News flash – those folks don't have toddlers at home!)
A British artist who got stuck in Dubai during the pandemic has been working on a new painting – but it's not just any work of art. When it's finished, the painting will be the largest in the world, measuring over 21,000 square feet – the length of four NBA-regulation basketball courts.
After the United Arab Emirates issued lockdown orders in the city to slow the spread of Covid-19, artist Sacha Jafri set up shop in the ballroom of a luxury hotel to create his most challenging piece of art yet.
video c/o Sacha Jafri
"I was stuck in Dubai and I wanted to create something poignant, something that would mean something," Jafri told CNN. "Something that could potentially make a really big difference."
The painting, titled "The Journey of Humanity," features Jafri's signature "magical realism" style with wild brush strokes, drip-painting and abstract forms. The painting focuses on themes of connection, separation and isolation during the pandemic – emotions that people everywhere, of all ages and races, can relate to.
The painting will take 20 weeks to complete and will earn the Guinness World Record for "The Largest Art Canvas" in the world. Sacha Jafri/Facebook
The 43-year-old artist asked children from all over the world to submit their own artwork, which he photocopied and incorporated into eight circular "portals" within the first layer of the painting – what he calls the "soul."
"I asked the children of the world to send in their artworks -- how they feel now, their emotions," Jafri said. "We, as adults, are finding this hard. We found the last five months very difficult, very confusing, very frustrating and quite scary. But imagine how a 4-year-old child feels."
Children from all over the world have contributed artwork to Jafri's painting. Sacha Jafri/Facebook
Once the massive artwork is finished, Jafri will hang it in a larger-than-life frame in Dubai and project the image onto the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. After that, he'll split the painting up into 60 separate panels, which will be sold off to collectors at an art auction in December.
"We are aiming to raise $30 million, which will go to help the poorest children of the world with education, connectivity, health and sanitation," Jafri said. "Each person that buys a panel will (not only) own a piece of the largest painting ever created in the world, but they'll own a piece of history, because what we're doing with that money is huge."
Once the painting is finished, Jafri will frame it and project the image on to the tallest building in the world. Sacha Jafri/Facebook
The project is part of the 'Humanity Inspired' initiative that partners with charities like The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The funds raised by Jafri's paintings will go to creating remote learning hubs and healthcare for children in the poorest communities in the world. The painting is expected to be completed by the end of September 2020.
What an incredible feat! We can't wait to see what the largest painting in the world looks like – and the fact that it's helping so many makes it that much more incredible. Job well done!