JR : Winner of the 2011 TED PRIZE - the title above is TED's slogan.
This story from the TED blog today just grabbed my attention ...with good reason if you wish to read on! Click on the link above to see the excellent TED video and read more!
Reached by telephone on Wednesday morning on a bus in Shanghai, where he was headed to work on a largely unauthorized photo-pasting project to draw attention to the city’s demolition of historic neighborhoods, J R said that he had learned of the prize only two weeks ago and that he had not yet had time to think of a wish.
But he said that it would undoubtedly involve his kind of guerrilla art, which he has been creating with the help of volunteers in slums in Brazil, Cambodia and Kenya — where the outsize photographs, printed on waterproof vinyl, doubled as new roofs for ramshackle houses. “I’m kind of stunned,” he said of the prize. “I’ve never applied for an award in my life and didn’t know that somebody had nominated me for this.”
Randy Kennedy of the New York Times got an interview with JR, winner of the 2011 TED Prize, for the Times. From the story:
I have rather quickly posted these images and links ... I realised I'd been looking at his work here and there for a while ... this was the first time the story came together for me. You're possibly better informed about this artist that I was ...his story seemed well worth sharing ... just in case!
Text: website - http://jr-art.net/
Text here from jr-art.net
JR owns the biggest art gallery in the world. He exhibits freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are
not the museum visitors. His work mixes Art and Act, talks about commitment, freedom, identity and limit.
After he found a camera in the Paris subway, he did a tour of European Street Art, tracking the people who communicate messages
via the walls. Then, he started to work on the vertical limits, watching the people and the passage of life from the forbidden undergrounds
and roofs of the capital.
In 2006, he achieved Portrait of a generation, portraits of the suburban "thugs" that he posted, in huge formats, in the bourgeois districts
of Paris. This illegal project became "official" when the Paris City Hall wrapped its building with JR's photos.
In 2007, with Marco, he did Face 2 Face, the biggest illegal photo exhibition ever. JR posted huge portraits of Israelis and Palestinians
face to face in eight Palestinian and Israeli cities, and on the both sides of the Security fence / Separation wall. The experts said it would
be impossible. Still, he did it.
In 2008, he embarked for a long international trip for "Women", a project in which he underlines the dignity of women who are often the
targets of conflicts. Of course, it didn't change the world, but sometimes a single laugher in an unexpected place makes you dream that
JR creates "Pervasive Art" that spreads uninvited on the buildings of the slums around Paris, on the walls in the Middle-East, on the
broken bridges in Africa or the favelas in Brazil. People who often live with the bare minimum discover something absolutely unnecessary.
And they don't just see it, they make it. Some elderly women become models for a day; some kids turn artists for a week. In that Art
scene, there is no stage to separate the actors from the spectators.
After these local exhibitions, the images are transported to London, New York, Berlin or Amsterdam where people interpret them in the
light of their own personal experience.
As he remains anonymous and doesn't explain his huge full frame portraits of people making faces, JR leaves the space empty for an
encounter between the subject/protagonist and the passer-by/interpreter.
This is what JR is working on. Raising questions...
JR currently works on 2 new projects: Wrinkles of the City which questions the memory of a city and its inhabitants and Unframed,
which reinterprets in huge formats photos from important photographers taken from the archives of museums.