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eBay's Instagram mega-collage zooms in on what inspires you

Artist spends three days assembling a crowdsourced collage of photos from around the world to promote an artistic new eBay venture.

Artist Mario Wagner arranges Instagram photos Sunday for an art installation marking the launch of eBay's new live auctions service. Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for eBay

Artist Mario Wagner spent the last three days staring at Instagram photos -- 2,000 of them. Some of them might have even been yours.

Stationed outdoors in downtown Manhattan, the illustrator busily sorted through shots from around the world submitted using the hasthag #eBayArtForAll and printed instantly onsite. He then arranged and pasted them into a crowdsourced mega-collage as passersby watched (and, naturally, snapped Instagram photos).

Some 2,000 images came in from around the world. eBay

eBay commissioned the Art for All project to promote its new live auctions service, which makes art and collectibles from international auction houses available to eBay buyers. The company tasked the Berkeley, Calif.-based Wagner with creating a work that compassed inspiration, access, connection and community.

"I loved seeing pictures taken by people who were at our public art experience, as well as images from around the world," Wagner told Crave. "The pictures truly added color and life to this artwork to make it the finished piece it is today."

The final piece measures 10.7 feet by 7.5 feet and features colorful kaleidoscopic shapes which, when viewed up close, reveal images of smiling faces, bright flowers, dramatic skies, fun hats, shiny tech gadgets and virtually any other object imaginable that might inspire or uplift. In the center, a giant image of a laptop obscures the top half of a face.

"The half face is very accessible and relatable; however, it's only a half because that's how people are in today's connected world," Wagner said. "We're always taking pictures and covering our face to capture the inspiration that is all around us."

Crowdsourced art isn't new, but creating it is new to Wagner, an illustrator who has contributed to campaigns for clients including Ikea and whose his work regularly appears in publications such as the New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal and Wired.

"Though I had a vision in mind, it was impossible to know how the final piece would take shape given the community's influence on the artwork," he said. "Now seeing it all come together, it's better than I ever imagined."

The complete work, now on display in the Meatpacking District, will live at eBay headquarters in San Jose, Calif. A digital print called Prints for All will also be available for free download on eBay.

The completed art installation, pictured in downtown New York, will find a permanent home at eBay headquarters in San Jose, Calif. Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for eBay