After 7 Months And 1,400 Gallons Of Paint, 1 Seriously Large Painting Is Finally Done Sacha Jafri took over the ballroom of a Dubai hotel to produce the massive work. "The Journey of Humanity" will be auctioned off to fund health and education needs for kids living in poverty.
NPR logo

After 7 Months And 1,400 Gallons Of Paint, 1 Seriously Large Painting Is Finally Done

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/936096345/936096346" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
After 7 Months And 1,400 Gallons Of Paint, 1 Seriously Large Painting Is Finally Done

After 7 Months And 1,400 Gallons Of Paint, 1 Seriously Large Painting Is Finally Done

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/936096345/936096346" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now the story of a pretty extraordinary piece of art. The painting "Journey Of Humanity" isn't just any painting.

SACHA JAFRI: It's the largest painting ever created in the world, oil on canvas.

MARTIN: That's artist Sacha Jafri. He finished the piece this month.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Jafri has been busy during lockdown because this painting took seven months working, he says, about 20 hours per day.

JAFRI: I used about 1,400 gallons of paint, about 1,100 brushes, and it's about 3- to 400 layers of paint on top of each other.

INSKEEP: The painting's about the size of four basketball courts. Can you imagine going to have that framed? It is layered in bright colors, and it now sits on the floor of a ballroom in a luxury hotel in Dubai.

MARTIN: But Jafri isn't the only artist who contributed to the world's largest painting. He didn't do this alone. He incorporated artwork that children submitted electronically from over 140 countries. Young artists are important to him.

JAFRI: The child has this beautiful purity, and the child is most connected to the soul of the earth because the child is all about that beginning of life, that purity. They have the freedom of expression.

INSKEEP: Now, the finished painting has four sections. The first, we're told, depicts the soul of the earth. The second depicts nature. The third represents humanity. And the fourth is the solar system. If you got that much space, just throw in the whole solar system. Jafri says it's a painting about connection.

JAFRI: I felt that we had become a little disconnected as humans. I felt that the world had become full of static. And when the world becomes full of static, it's a real problem because we're made of energy, so we can't communicate with each other because there's too much static in the way.

MARTIN: Now that "The Journey Of Humanity" is complete, all 17,000 square feet of it, the painter's going to cut it into 70 separate panels, each potentially a reminder of Jafri's philosophy.

JAFRI: And if we can remind ourselves how small we are, we can actually embrace humility. And with humility, we can become truly great.

MARTIN: Jafri will sell each of the panels for charity in hopes to raise $30 million by doing so.

(SOUNDBITE OF TEEN DAZE'S "OCEAN FLOOR")

Copyright © 2020 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.