“Can art change the world?"
JR exhibits his large-scale photographic projects freely in streets around the world, from the buildings of his hometown of Paris to the favelas in Rio to the US/Mexico border. Eager to build a sense of community and raise awareness about today’s most pressing questions, he creates participatory collages with portraits of people in regions most affected by issues such as immigration, climate change, and gun control. His works, often ephemeral, spread first physically across public spaces and then virtually on social media platforms, where they unite large and diverse audiences in pursuit of meaningful causes.
In 2011, JR received the TED Prize, after which he created Inside Out, a global participatory art project that allows people worldwide to get their picture taken and paste it to support an idea and share their experience. As of December 2019, more than 420,000 people from 141 countries had participated, through mail or photobooths. Other notable projects include a large-scale pasting in a maximum security prison in California (2019); a Time magazine cover about guns in America (2018); an Academy Award-nominated film with Agnès Varda, Faces, Places (2017); a temporary installation at the Mexico/US border, Kikito (2017); and giant scaffolding installations at the 2016 Rio Olympics. JR recently exhibited in solo shows at the Brooklyn Museum with JR: Chronicles (2019) and SFMoMA with The Chronicles of San Francisco (2019).