Artist Sacha Jafri isn’t afraid of a good challenge, and the British artist has taken on a big one: to raise $30 million dollars for charity by creating the world’s largest painting on canvas. On lockdown in the luxurious Atlantis the Palm in Dubai, Jafri has turned the grand ballroom into a studio, filling the space that would usually host weddings and banquets with canvasses.
Titled The Journey of Humanity, Jafri’s painting is the length of two football fields end to end, and almost 6,000 square feet overall. To aid in this herculean task, the artist has called on the assistance of the children of the world. Young people aged two to eighteen years are invited to send in their artworks to be included in the project.
Via email, children can submit works in any medium on the subjects of separation/isolation or connection, themes we can all relate to in the age of social distancing. Printed versions of the artworks will be affixed to the canvas in large circles the artist calls portals. Through the collective imaginations of children, Jafri hopes to create a hopeful vision of the future.
The massive painting is in Jafri’s trademark style: vibrant abstraction in colorful splashes and smears which he calls magical realism. For the past eighteen years, the artist has been selling works to raise money for charity. According to his website, he has raised over $60 million dollars thus far and counts amongst his collectors Bill Gates, Madonna, and Barack Obama.
Once The Journey of Humanity is completed, the artist plans to have it certified by the Guinness Book of World Record as the world’s largest painting on canvas. It will then be cut down into sixty smaller works and sold at auction. Hoping to raise $30 million, the individual works would run $500,000 each. Jafri is calling the project Humanity Inspired and plans to donate the proceeds to charities that support health and education for children worldwide.