High-res version

Photo by jr-art.net

The French street artist JR started as his creative career by doing graffiti in the tunnels and roofs of Paris. After finding a camera on a subway station he started to document the adventures of him and his friends and pasting huge copies of the photos on different walls around the city, using the walls as his own art gallery space. From there it escalated into a world wide art project.

“Working anonymously, pasting his giant images on buildings, trains, bridges, the often-guerrilla artist JR forces us to see each other. Traveling to distant, often dangerous places — the slums of Kenya, the favelas of Brazil — he infiltrates communities, befriending inhabitants and recruiting them as models and collaborators. He gets in his subjects’ faces with a 28mm wide-angle lens, resulting in portraits that are unguarded, funny, soulful, real, that capture the sprits of individuals who normally go unseen. The blown-up images pasted on urban surfaces – the sides of buildings, bridges, trains, buses, on rooftops — confront and engage audiences where they least expect it. Images of Parisian thugs are pasted up in bourgeois neighborhoods; photos of Israelis and Palestinians are posted together on both sides of the walls that separate them.”

JR’s most recent project, “Women Are Heroes,” depicts women “dealing with the effects of war, poverty, violence, and oppression” from Rio de Janeiro, Phnom Penh, Delhi and several African cities. And his TED Prize wish opens an even wider lens on the world — asking us all to turn the world inside out.

“I would like to bring art to improbable places, create projects so huge with the community that they are forced to ask themselves questions.”

This year JR won the TED Prize and you can view his very inspiring talk about if art can change the world, in the video below. If you want read more about his work and be a part of his new project “Inside out – A Global Art Project” you can sign up on the site, upload a photo of yourself, receive a poster of your photo and pasting it anywhere you want.

(More below:)

“INSIDE OUT is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Everyone is challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world. These digitally uploaded images will be made into posters and sent back to the project’s co-creators for them to exhibit in their own communities. People can participate as an individual or in a group; posters can be placed anywhere, from a solitary image in an office window to a wall of portraits on an abandoned building or a full stadium. These exhibitions will be documented, archived and viewable virtually.

INSIDE OUT is a collaboration between the artist JR, the TED Prize and you.

INSIDE OUT is funded by The Sapling FoundationSocial Animals and generous donations from people like you.”

(Via Ted.com)