Street art has the indisputable ability to raise attention and awareness to issues and concerns. For some artists this is central in their work, because they use their art for just that reason – as a tool to make change. French photographer and large-scale pasteup artist, JR, has been recognized as one of the most influential public artists in the world, and he has been using his art for such reasons since the early 2000s. He was already a well recognized street artist with a number of international projects completed before 2011 when he was awarded with the TED Prize for his dream of starting the Inside Out Project. Since then JR has tirelessly been on a roll to change the world through his art. He uses his art as a way to create new dialog between people. His concept is simple yet so profound – take photos of regular people and paste them up in public spaces.
Since 2008 JR has been working on his Wrinkles in the City project, which as taken him and his team to Cartagena, Spain (2008), Shanghai, China (2010), Los Angeles, USA (2011) and La Habana, Cuba (2012), and Berlin, Germany (2015). Over the last few weeks JR has been pasting away for the latest installment of the project in Istanbul, Turkey. The Wrinkles in the City project is a “world-scale project aimed to be presented in various cities around the world where ‘wrinkles’, human as well as architectural, can be found.” The recent work in Istanbul is breathtaking. The scale, placement, and imagery work together beautifully to deliver the intent of the art – to tell a story. The power of Wrinkles in the City (as well as most of JR’s work) exists in the ability for the portraits to give significance and capture a moment in time and space. A people, a place, a culture shared. Enjoy these amazing photographs of the recent work by the prolific, JR!
Be sure to watch JR’s TED talk from 2011 that won him the award to launch his Inside Out Project: