Today we want to talk to you about one of our homonymous. JR is a French artist, who “owns the biggest art gallery in the world”: the streets. He is an “unknown” artist, because no one knows his true identity despite the fact that there are several pictures of him. Mainly specialized in photography, he is best known for making large panels with photos and displaying them in the streets. His objective is to portrait a society, and to expose it right back at her.
One of his best well-known projects was “Face 2 Face” in 2007, which he did in partnership with Marco. In this project, he portrayed Israelis and Palestinians side by side in huge photographs, covering the Israeli West Bank barrier. In “Women Are Heroes”, he intended to put women on the spotlight for the important role they play in the society, but which is often neglected, besides of all the violences women face constantly. For instance, he imprinted large pictures of women in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, and he did the same in Kenya, in Liberia and in India. Finally, yet another example of his art is “The Wrinkles of the City”, where he exposes pictures of old people in cities such as Los Angeles, where appearances are at the center of all attentions and old people are often cast away.
JR’s photos definitely have a political meaning and can be very controversial, as one can see with the Face 2 Face project. As he says it himself, “Art is not welcome everywhere”. Nevertheless, JR’s art is very interesting and it is maybe not without reason that Fabrice Bousteau, director of the Beaux-Arts Magazine, described him as the 21st century Henri-Cartier Besson.