After finding a camera in the subway of Paris in 2001, JR decided to travel Europe to meet those who express themselves on walls and facades, making their portraits and exhibiting them in the streets. Thanks to his large scale installation in the streets, he forces us to see phenomena and people that we usually ignore. He creates drastically simplified portraits with enquiring, penetrating, watchful yet solemn expressions that draw our attention and remain in our conscience long after we have seen them. Collaborating with New York City Ballet, OSGemeos, Agnès Varda, Robert De Niro, and many other artists he conceived films, installations, interventions, and other works in different medias.Read More
Through his process, JR strives to involve the local population in the development of his projects. JR catches the attention of people who are not typical visitors of a museum, spreading unsolicited works on the buildings of slums around Paris, on walls in the Middle-East, on broken bridges in Africa or the favelas in Brazil. In each of his projects, he seeks to act as a witness for a community. And their members don't just see them, they make them. Elderly women become models for a day; kids turn into artists for a week. JR practice do not separate the actors from the spectators and promotes the encounter between the subject/protagonist and the passer-by/interpreter, raising questions, creating a social link, bringing communities together, making people more aware, always preserving humour.
JR was born in Paris, in 1983. He lives and works between Paris and New York. Some of his latest solo shows and projects include: JR: Chronicles, at Brooklyn Museum (2019), in New York, USA; The Chronicles of San Francisco, at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MoMA) (2019), in San Francisco, USA; Momentum. La Mécanique de l'Épreuve, at Maison Européenne de la Photographie (2018), in Paris, France; Chroniques de Clichy-Montfermeil, at Palais de Tokyo (2017), in Paris, France; Kikito, a temporary installation at the Mexican/US border (2017); JR at the Louvre, at Musée du Louvre (2016), in Paris, France. Recent group shows include: JR, Adrian Piper, Ray Johnson, at Museum Frieder Burda (2019), in Berlin, Germany; Refuge, at 21c Museum (2019), in Bentonville, USA; Post No Bills: Public Walls as Studio and Source, at Neuberger Museum of Art (2016), in Purchase, USA; and Tu dois changer ta vie, at Tripostal (2015), in Lille, France. His works are included in major public collections such as those of: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, USA; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; Hong Kong Contemporary Art Foundation, Hong Kong, China; among others.
Text courtesy Galeria Nara Roesler.