The World Largest Painting | The Journey of Humanity.
This painting “The Journey of Humanity” holds the Guinness World Record for the “largest art canvas” and was sold in a charity auction in Dubai on 22 March for $78m.
This enormous 18,000 sq. ft. painting was created by Sacha Jafri, New York-based artist and the painting was inspired by millions of artwork from children in over 140 countries who shared their experience during the coronavirus pandemic through painting.
Jafri worked on the painting at the Atlantis Palm hotel in Dubai, where his canvas was just able to fit inside the ballroom. It took him about eight months to produce this magnificent piece of art, working 20 hrs daily.
“I was in a trance, painting for eight months, 20 hours a day,” he tells The Art Newspaper of the process. Jafri found himself stuck in Dubai when lockdown hit: “2020 was meant to be the biggest year of my career—I had my big 18-year retrospective at the Saatchi Gallery and I was doing a painting for Dubai Expo and the painting for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. Then everything got cancelled.”
The buyer of The Journey of Humanity was the French-born, Dubai-based French crypto-entrepreneur Andre Abdoune, the chief executive of Altius Gestion International Holding, who now plans to build a museum in Dubai to house the work.
The painting measures 1,595.76 square meters which is about the size of two football fields, despite the size, Jafri disclosed: “I had no helpers, no assistants, because I’m a bit of a control freak.” Completing the painting used 1,065 brushes and 6,300 litres of paint, a homemade mix of household paints, artists’ acrylics, linseed oil and raw oil pigment.
As for the canvas, Jafri says he got lucky: “I called a supplier who had a lot of canvas in the warehouse which had been intended for the Dubai Expo 2020, but that has been delayed of course”.
The final art work contains more than 300 layers of paint. The finished work was unveiled on February 25 by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak,Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and Dr Tariq Al Gurg, chief executive of Dubai Cares.