JR unites the art of humanising photography with street-poster pasting on a large scale. His works typically involve pasting massive black-and-white photographs of ordinary individuals from different communities onto city walls, rooftops, or scaffolding structures.Read More
JR's practice, after Face 2 Face, developed into several wide-reaching 'international' projects. 'Women Are Heroes' (2008–2009) began by acknowledging the women coping in the favelas of Brazil, and subsequently spread to cities worldwide. The project culminated in a final work covering the side of a large container ship that departed Le Havre for Malaysia.
Speaking at a 2011 TED Talk, JR made a proposal to 'turn the world inside out' with an international participatory art project that would empower people to put up their own images and give them a voice to speak to their own causes and experiences. Funded by a $100,000 TED Prize, JR subsequently began the international participatory art project 'Inside Out' (2011–ongoing).
Departing from his focus on faces, in 2016 JR turned to architecture in a collaboration with the Louvre. The artist made I.M. Pei's iconic glass pyramid seemingly 'disappear' using an historic photograph of the façade of the palace behind. JR returned in 2019 with an abundance of volunteers, paste, and paper, to illusionistically extend the pyramid below ground into a false crater.
JR's 'Trompe L'Oeil' series (2018–2021) similarly explores this interest in architecture and illusion. Imagined spaces and false interiors are implied in a trompe l'oeil effect created with black and white posters on the facade of civic buildings such as the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Florence's Palazzo Strozzi, and the Farnese Palace that houses the French embassy in Rome.
Since 2017 JR has worked on a series of epically-scaled Diego Rivera inspired participatory murals. Representing a particular place or social issue the works are a composite of hundreds of individual portraits of people from the subject community incorporated together in a singular scene. JRs latest edition, The Chronicles of New York City (2019), presents a diverse cast of 1,128 New Yorkers, acting out a scene in a massive mural.
JR's performance-based 'Omelia Contadina' (2019–2020) began out of an interest in the plight of local farmers in the Alfina Plateau in Italy. It highlights common challenges faced by traditional smallscale farmers: protecting their environment while living well from their work in the face of corporate agricultural giants encroaching on their way of life.
Since the first instance of the project in 2019 JR has organised funeral-like processions in which 30 metre long printed portraits of members of the affected communities are carried through the landscape and Eulogised over. These processions have taken place on the Alfina Plateau around the villages of Castel Giorgio and Onano, along the Canals of Venice, the streets of San Gimignano in Tuscany, and at Lake Cawndilla, near Menindee, Australia.