'The Majestic' - Atlas Obscura

'The Majestic'

This massive Art Deco-inspired mural was the world's largest augmented reality artwork at the time of its completion. 


Among the Art Deco skyscrapers of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, you can find a massive golden angel painted onto the side of a parking lot, part of a mural known as The Majestic. But that’s only one piece of the reality–from the right angle, and with the right technology, the mural comes alive.

The impetus for The Majestic, like so many downtown revitalization projects across the country, came from the city’s economic development arm, Partner Tulsa. Connecting public art and economic recovery, Tulsa commissioned a pair of artists who work together as Yanoe X Zoueh to look at the Main Park Plaza parking lot as the potential site of their next work. The artists, also named Ryan Sarfati and Eric Skotnes, got their start in Los Angeles in rival graffiti crews, and were invested in large-scale augmented reality projects, having recently completed a work called The Journey in Columbus, Ohio. As with that work, the goal was to create the largest augmented reality mural in the world.

Visiting Tulsa, the pair got a sense of representation, eventually settling on a combination of Oklahoma’s natural beauty and Tulsa’s historic Art Deco downtown. The mural was named The Majestic after the theater that once stood on the site. The mural was completed in October 2021, and indeed held the record for the largest AR artwork as of its completion.

In the work, the angel, inspired by the spectacular Boston Avenue Methodist Church, is wearing a crown of Oklahoma roses and surrounded by native wildlife. The mural is 15000 square feet and wraps around the length of the parking garage. It is best viewed from across the street, where signage will tell you where to stand and share a link to the augmented reality app. The app can be finicky, but if it works, you can watch as the mural itself begins to shimmer and move. As music starts playing, the scene comes to life, as the birds that had been painted on the wall begin to fly by on your phone. The work also lets you experience the construction process, as well as the historic Majestic Theatre itself, showing off the past, present, and future of Tulsa’s heritage.

In partnership with KAYAK

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