JR: The Compellingly Powerful Street Art of a Guerrilla-Photograffeur

Women Are Heroes: Paris

Women Are Heroes: Paris

Women Are Heroes: London

Women Are Heroes: Kenya

Women Are Heroes: Kenya

The Wrinkles of the City: Shanghai

The Wrinkles of the City: Shanghai

JR: The Compellingly Powerful Street Art of a Guerrilla-Photograffeur

The illusive JR has pasted gigantic portraits all over the world, and the public still doesn’t know the artist’s full name. He insists on JR, which are his real initials. He refers to his performance-exhibitions as the mix of photography with graffiti art. His work involves showing up in a shantytown in Kenya or a favela in Brazil, a place where some event has been noted in the media and has captured his attention.  His work turns it inside out, photographing the residents, then wrapping their buildings with the results, on a scale so vast that you can see their eyes from the sky.

Often he works through the night, and as soon as he’s done, he disappears; so when the installation becomes front-page news, there is no one left to explain it but the people whose voices had not been previously heard. As a woman from Kibera, a neighborhood in Nairobi, put it in Women Are Heroes, a documentary recently released in France that JR made about his work: “Photos can’t change the environment. But if people see me there, they’ll ask me: ‘Who are you? Where do you come from?’ And then I’m proud.”

JR’s collection of works entitled Women Are Heroes, features a compelling and empowering style focused on the struggles of women in society today. JR was recently awarded the 2011 TED Prize for Women Are Heroes.  At the age of 28, JR is the youngest recipient of the $100,000 prize.

JR’s latest project is The Wrinkles of the City, an installation of street pieces in Shanghai (and later, in other large cities). The project features images of the elderly, who represent the memory of the city. The photographs have been pasted up at locations that he feels speak to the heritage of a city that has definitely had its share of ups and downs, “from the Japanese occupation, the establishment of the Communist Party, The Liberation, World War II, the end of the foreign concessions, the victory of Mao Zedong over the General Tchang Kaï-Chek’s troops, the Cultural Revolution, the Great Leap Forward to the actual development of the city.

R expo Paris de Women Are Heroes

Women Are Heroes (Trailer)

Meet the 2011 TED Prize Winner: JR

JR’s TED Prize Wish: Use Art to Turn the World Inside Out

Slide Show: JR/The Compellingly Powerful Street Art of a Guerrilla-Photograffeur

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

Please Share This:

Share

%d bloggers like this: