The Bold Guerrilla Art of JR!

Man on a Mission
The renegade photographer known only as JR, is a man who uses street, building, roof and even railway car as a format for display. This is his gallery. But he’s no graffiti artist. He is a guerrilla photographer and painter. Is there truly a difference? To me? Yes. To you? That’s for you to decide.

I am not one for large blocks of quote. But in this case, I think it does a fantastic job of explaining the Artist, his Art, his philosophy and his intentions. Much better, in fact, than I can. This is from JR’s website.

“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.

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.”

The work displayed is from one of his latest projects called “Wrinkles of the City.” The thing that struck me about his work is its immense size. JR’s ability to think way, way outside the box is one of the reasons why I am impressed with his work. The scale of his ideas, his projects and his thinking are incredible. This is just a very small sampling of his work. Please go see more here

The renegade, guerrilla mentality of his art makes him either a marketing genius, or an artistic one. Either one is fine with me. I’m just happy he’s out there doing it. So JR, Give Us Art! salutes you!


All images copyright JR 2011.


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