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

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Isaac Mizrahi: He Eats Out, He Sees Shows and a Million Other Things

Isaac Mizrahi: He Eats Out, He Sees Shows and a Million Other Things

Isaac Mizrahi: An Eccentric, Uniquely American Personality

Isaac Mizrahi was born in Brooklyn, New York, of Syrian Jewish heritage. He’s the cousin of rock guitarist Sylvain Sylvain, who was a band member in the New York Dolls. Mizrahi went to school at New York City’s Yeshivah of Flatbush, The High School of Performing Arts and Parsons School of Design. He’s the Creative Director for the Liz Claiborne fashion, where he oversees design and marketing for the women’s apparel and accessories line. As a leader in the fashion design business for almost twenty years, Isaac has been awarded four awards from The Council of Fashion Designers of America, including a special award in 1996 for his groundbreaking documentary Unzipped. Mizrahi also designed the costumes for Liza Minnelli’s 1991 stage show Stepping Out which earned him a 1993 Emmy nomination for the 1992 televised PBS special based on that production. He also won a Drama Desk Award for his costume design for a revival of the classic Broadway play The Women in 2002.

TED Talks/Isaac Mizrahi: Fashion, Passion and a Million Other Things

Style Makes You Feel Great, Because it Takes Your Mind Off the Fact That You’re Going to Die-

In his appearance at the 2008 TED Conference in Monterrey, California, fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi spins through a dizzying array of inspirations, from 1950s pinups to a fleeting glimpse of a hole in a shirt that makes him shout “Stop the cab!” Mizrahi’s fashion design mission comes wrapped in endless colorful charisma, and inside his freewheeling talk are real clues to living a happy and creative life.

Isaac Mizrahi at TED: Fashion, Passion and a Million Other Things

Isaac Mizrahi’s Award-Winning Documentary on the Fashion Industry: Unzipped

Isaac Mizrahi’s Groundbreaking Documentary: Unzipped

Mizrahi’s documentary actually seems to make filmmaking easy. It looks like simply a matter of finding a sharped-tongued subject with a fascinating line of work, pointing the camera and coming up with a film clever enough to win the Audience Award at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival. The strength of Unzipped lies in how casual it seems, the way it creates the feeling that you’re simply hanging out with its protagonist, the celebrated New York fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi.

A sly monologuist and born entertainer, Mizrahi finds talking as natural as designing clothes and is on target with both. He’s the kind of witty performer who holds the screen just doing a crossword puzzle; Mizrahi is enormous fun to be with and considerably more charismatic than the pop culture icons like Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell who make brief appearances to model his creations. Unzipped benefits from the fact that there is something naturally funny about the fashion industry. The film shows all those nominal grown-ups getting into a series of tizzies about nothing more important than . . . clothes. It’s almost as ridiculous as the movie business itself.

Isaac Mizrahi: Unzipped (1995)

Slide Show: Fashion Designer Isaac Mizrahi

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