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JR

An undercover photographer, JR transforms his photos into posters and our streets into open-space galleries. An acute observer of our time, he is as comfortable in cozy neighbourhoods as in urban ghettos. By entering public space, he challenges pedestrians in their everyday routines exhibitions through his exhibitions.

Using a camera he found on the subway, JR finds inspiration in informal encounters, his travels and his intuitions. Since 2001, he has been pointing his camera toward writing, breakdancing and freestyling communities, and worked with popular actors and musicians such as Vincent Cassel, IAM and the Gotan Project. Beginning in 2004, he has been working on his extensive 28 millimeters project. The first part, A Portrait of a Generation, garnered him attention on the front page of The New York Times. The large size pictures of the youth from Montfermeil and Clichy-sous-Bois have been displayed at the European Center for Photography and in front of Paris' Hotel de Ville. As his pictures began to sell at the Hotel Drouot in Paris, he continued to plan similar unauthorized exhibitions for Rome or Wuppertal, Germany. He is currently working on the second and third phases for the Middle East and Brazil.

The 3rd stage of the 28 millimeters project, Women Are Heroes, has already led him to post-conflict areas in Africa. There, he looks to photograph women whose painful stories he wants to share with the world as a testimony to their desire to live. Their portraits were already posted in Sierra-leone, Kenya and in Liberia.
In 2010, one picture from his "Women are Hereos" series won a World Press Photo for arts and entertainment. The same year, he won the TED Prize.

JR is represented by Galerie Perrotin in Paris.


  See the photographer's map...

Series

Kikito (2017)

JR inaugurated early september a huge scaffolding installation on the Mexican side of the border between the United States and Mexico. The piece is best viewed from the US side of the border. An immense image of Kikito, a one year old boy from the city of Tecate, looks playfully over the infamous border wall. Kikito and his family cannot cross the border to see the artwork from the ideal vantage point.

Rio Giants (2016)

JR celebrates the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio with installations in the city. The first one is in Barra da Tijuca, a district in the west. The second in the center fo Rio shows the sudanese athlete Ali Mohd Younes Idriss, high jumper who failed to qualify for Rio 2016.

Unframed - Ellis Island (2014)

The "Unframed - Ellis Island" project is about bringing alive the memory of Ellis Island, the entry point to America for millions of immigrants. Coming from all over the world, leaving their belongings, their family and their past behind them, with the fear that they may be sent back to it, the presence of these people who have shaped the modern American identity can still be felt in the buildings, although abandoned for the past 70 years. This is the opportunity to interpret the stories of these people through art. In August 2014, I was invited to work on the abandoned part of Ellis Island. This island, next to the Statue of Liberty, is very symbolic - the gateway to the United States...

New York City Ballet (2014)

JR was recently invited by the New York City Ballet to create a large-scale art installation, in collaboration with the dancers of the Company, for their 2014 Art Series. On April 29th, 2014, JR will present the Premiere of Les Bosquets, the ballet he created in collaboration with New York City Ballet, on an original music by Woodkid, with guest dancer Lil Buck. JR's debuts as a choreographer will involve 42 dancers on stage. Les Bosquets is inspired on JR's first art project, Portrait of a Generation, and by the riots that happened in France in 2005.

Inside Out Times Square (2013)

From April 22 to May 10, 2013, for INSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY, JR and his team invite New Yorkers and visitors to take self-portraits in a photo booth truck stationed in Times Square, the site of the world’s first ever photo booth almost 100 years ago.

Inside Out Project in Israel and Palestine (2011)

French artist and TED Prize winner, JR, continues his marathon tour across the world, this time unveiling a new project as part of his Inside Out Project: Time is Now, Yalla!. The project is now underway in Israel (Tel Aviv and Haifa) and Palestine (Bethlehem and Ramallah).

Inside Out, Artocracy in Tunisia (2011)

Six Tunisian photographers travelled the country to take pictures for the first large street exhibition in a nascent Arab democracy. The posting promised to be surprising and the confrontation with art not always simple. Our first two days were quite hot (insulted in La Goulette the first day, posters taken down in Tunis the second day). So we decided to go to Sidi Bouzid (where it all started), an isolated region, to work with those who did the revolution before coming back to the popular districts of the capital. There is nothing better to understand the weight of traditions and the willingness to change than to post big portraits in the symbolic places of the popular districts and try...

Shanghai, the Wrinkles of the City (2010)

Until February 28th, 2011. For the Shanghai Biennale JR introduce a new chapter to his Wrinkles of the City, world scale project. For the Biennale JR pastes the Shanghai museum of Arts from outside to inside. The project starts with portraits of elderly people who represent the memory of a city past. JR interviews each person and records the changes witnessed in the city. Then these portraits, printed in monumental sizes, are pasted in the very same city in various places that inspire JR and represent the city’s heritage. Memory can stumble and fall - disappear any minute as the elderly leave us - JR shows us that it is important not to forget what the elderly have to pass on to younger...

TED Prize 2011 Awarded to JR (2010)

JR, a moving and innovative artist who exhibits freely in the world's streets, has been named the recipient of the 2011 TED Prize – an award granting $100,000 and something much bigger: a wish to change the world with the support of the TED Community's incredible resources. JR is a true humanitarian who creates "Pervasive Art." Working with a team of volunteers in various urban environments, he mounts enormous black-and-white photo canvases that spread on the buildings of the slums around Paris, on the walls in the Middle East, on the broken bridges in Africa, and in the favelas of Brazil. These images become part of the local landscape and capture people's attention and imagination...

Making of the exhibition Women in Paris (2009)

Having presented his portraits of women in Brazil, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, India, Belgium, Britain and other countries, JR is showing the whole of his «Women» exhibition for the first time. After «Portraits of a Generation», inspired by events in the suburbs of Paris, and «Face 2Face», which was displayed in the Middle East, «Women» is the third phase of the 28 Millimetre project, taking its name from the wide-angle lens that requires the photographer to be only centimetres from the model in order to take the portrait. WOMEN ARE HEROES WOMEN grew out of many pictures and few words. JR’s words were necessary, of course, to convince more than 70 women around the world to take part...

Women Are Heroes (2009)

« Wome Are Heroes » is a project with many images and few words. The intention is simply to underline the pivotal role of women in society and to highlight their dignity by shooting them in their daily lives and posting them on the walls of their village and in the whole world.

Women (Cambodgia) (2009)

The Women project wants to underline their pivotal role and to highlight their dignity by shooting them in their daily lives and posting them on the walls of their country.

Face 2 face (2007)

"When we met in 2005, we decided to go together in the Middle-East to figure out why Palestinians and Israelis couldn't find a way to get along together. We then traveled across the Israeli and Palestinian cities without speaking much. Just looking to this world with amazement. This holy place for Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This tiny area where you can see mountains, sea, deserts and lakes, love and hate, hope and despair embedded together. After a week, we had a conclusion with the same words: these people look the same; they speak almost the same language, like twin brothers raised in different families. A religious covered woman has her twin sister on the other side. A...

Books

JR - Album RSF

Le portfolio inédit du nouvel album « 100 photos pour la liberté de la presse » de Reporters sans frontières vous fait parcourir le monde dans les yeux de JR.
Les yeux de femmes du monde entier, les rides de nos anciens, les silhouettes de nos archives… JR accouche la ville de ses secrets, de nos oublis et des injustices de nos sociétés. Il est doté de ce talent qui fait les grands artistes : savoir s’adresser à tout le monde.

En 2018, JR a été désigné par le magazine Time comme l’une des 100 personnalités de l’année.
Text by: Serge July

Publisher: Reporters Sans Frontières (2018)
144 pages
Size: 21 x 28,8 cm  

JR : L'art peut il changer le monde ?

La première monographie de l’énigmatique photographe-artiste parisien JR retraçant l’ensemble de son travail participatif et multisupports.

Les créations internationales in situ de JR, à la frontière entre photographie et street art, touchent un large public dans les milieux urbains, chez les jeunes, les artistes et les personnes engagées.

Réalisé en collaboration avec JR, le livre présente des photographies d’oeuvres en cours de réalisation publiées pour la première fois, ainsi que des documents sur les « coulisses » de ses ateliers à Paris et New York.

Dans le contexte de la mondialisation actuelle, les interventions publiques de JR, partout dans le monde, sont des actes forts qui donnent aux sujets de ses photographies comme à son public une voix et une présence uniques.

L’ouvrage présente l’ensemble de son oeuvre, ses projets réalisés avec des artistes et des institutions telles que le New York City Ballet, une section consacrée aux oeuvres et aux expositions ainsi qu’une chronologie illustrée-Il comporte une introduction sous forme de roman graphique réalisée par Joseph Remnant et un essai de Nato Thompson, conservateur en chef de Creative Time, à New York.
Text by: Roman graphique de Joseph Remnant et un essai de Nato Thompson

Publisher: Phaidon Press Ltd (2015)
304 pages
Size: 25 x 29 cm
ISBN :0714870722   

Unframed - Belle de Mai / Marseille

Unframed est un projet en cours depuis 2010, réalisé à partir d’images de photographes célèbres ou anonymes et d’images d’archives que JR interprète et re-contextualise à l’échelle d’un lieu, d’un quartier ou d’une ville.

À la Belle de Mai, Marseille, JR s’est intéressé à l’identité du quartier et a invité ses habitants à se pencher sur la mémoire de celui-ci en plongeant, dans leurs albums personnels. Ces photos, anciennes ou actuelles, recadrées, agrandies collées in situ forment une œuvre monumentale.
Elles reconvoquent sur les façades des immeubles l’histoire de ce quartier populaire et métissé, nichée dans les albums et la mémoire des habitants, mais plus que le souvenir sanctuarisé, il élève sur ces façades les histoires vives, singulières, pleines des hommes et des femmes, anciens ou primo arrivants qui se partagent l'endroit aujourd’hui.
Text by: Émile Abinal

Publisher: Alternatives (2014)
104 pages
Size: 27,8 x 22,6 cm
ISBN :2072541581   

Artocratie en Tunisie

En mars 2011, JR prend l’engagement de rendre possible, en les accompagnant, l’éclosion de multiples projets artistiques portant le label « Inside Out ». Il va même plus loin en fournissant les techniques et les matériaux nécessaires pour réaliser des projets « à la JR ». Artocratie en Tunisie est le premier projet de cette série.
Six photographes tunisiens – Sophia Baraket, Rania Dourai, Wissal Dargueche, Aziz Tnani, Hichem Driss et Héla Ammaront – ont donc parcouru leur pays pour photographier 100 personnes représentant la diversité de la population avant d’afficher ces portraits dans les rues tunisiennes. Pour un pays qui, depuis plus de 50 ans, n’avait exposé publiquement que l’image présidentielle, ça fait une différence !
Text by: Projet initié par Slim Zeghal & Marco Berrebi

Publisher: Alternatives (2011)
96 pages
Size: 20 x 26 cm
ISBN :2862276871   

JR / 28 Millimètres

JR a publié trois ouvrages chez Alternatives : 28 mm - Portraits d’une génération, Face 2 Face et Women are heroes.
Son concept : réaliser, avec un objectif de 28 millimètres, des portraits de “gens du commun” et à les afficher dans la rue. D’abord en Seine-Saint-Denis, un an après les émeutes ; puis en Israël et en Palestine où il a “capturé” les portraits de personnes exerçant la même profession ; enfin, dans le troisième opus, les femmes kenyannes, brésiliennes, indiennes ou cambodgiennes étaient à l’honneur. Les deux premiers titres ne sont plus disponibles depuis longtemps. D’où l’idée de réaliser une sorte de “complilation” des trois titres, un best of du projet 28 mm, retraçant son travail de 2004 à 2010, mais avec une maquette totalement originale, entièrement en couleur, beaucoup de photos inédites et des rubriques “expositions” à la fin de chacun des trois chapitres.
Text by: Marco Berrebi, Ladj Li

Publisher: Alternatives (2011)
248 pages
ISBN :2862276901   

Women are heroes

Le projet de JR, dont Women are heroes est le 3e volet – après 28 mm et Face 2 Face parus chez Alternatives – consiste à réaliser, avec un objectif de 28 millimètres, des portraits de “gens du commun” et à les afficher dans la rue. Ici, les femmes kenyannes, brésiliennes, indiennes ou cambodgiennes sont à l’honneur. Elles ne font jamais la une de l’actualité mais sont les vrais piliers de leur société, malgré guerres ou violences du quotidien. Une pratique artistique comme élément de discussion, pour traiter de sujets d’actualité de manière innovante, provocatrice et objective.
Text by: Christian Caujolle

Publisher: Editions Alternatives (2009)
360 pages
Size: 23 x 32,5 cm
ISBN :2862276138   

Face 2 face

o show that beyond their differences, Palestinians and Israeli are similar enough to understand each other, JR - with his camera - and Marco - with his pen - decided to launch (without authorisation) the biggest street art exhibition ever.
Men and Women, Israelis and Palestinians, agreed to cry, laugh, shout, and make faces in front of JR's lens. Their portraits were posted face-to-face, in huge formats, on both sides of the security fence / separation barrier and in several cities.
A necessary demonstration through images that art and laughter can challenge stereotypes.
The book Face2Face is about this extravagant adventure.
It gathers 41 portraits, testimonies, photos of the portraits posted on the walls, and pictures taken on the spot.
Text by: JR et Marco

Publisher: Editions Alternatives (2007)
142 pages
ISBN :2862275271   

Awards


    2012 - Grand Prix eReputation

    2011 - Ted Prize received for his whole body of work

    2010 - World Press Photo: Arts and Entertainment Second Prize singles (with "Women are Heroes")

Exhibitions



Amor Fati (Marseille)
From 2018-03-14 to 2018-05-13

L’artiste français JR investit le J1 pour y mettre en scène l’amour porté par Marseille à la mer et aux voyages. Marseille, terre d’accueil, point de pas- sage ou lieu de départ…Dans ce géant de verre et de béton armé, paquebot éternellement à quai face à la digue du large, l’artiste imagine une installation monumentale. Pour les spectateurs, des possibilités de circulation démultipliées dans un cheminement tant physique que mental. La nouvelle installation de JR à Marseille est une invitation à parcourir un réseau de passerelles surplombant un bassin de 1400 mètres carrés. Le visiteur...

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Chronicles of Clichy-Montfermeil (Paris)
From 2017-04-02 to 2017-04-13

For his third intervention at Palais de Tokyo, JR is unveiling a monumental fresco of over 150 m2, forming a singular portrait of the inhabitants of Clichy-Montfermeil (Seine-Saint-Denis), towns where the popular rebellions that shook France in 2005 began. After being displayed at Palais de Tokyo, the work will then be installed durably at the Cité des Bosquets (Montfermeil).

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Unframed (Vevey)
From 2010-09-04 to 2010-09-26

The visual arts festival Images is the first open-air photography festival of Switzerland. It produces every two years unseen monumental photography exhibitions in the streets of Vevey.\r « Unframed » is a new urban project created for the city, co-produced by the Images festival and the Musée de l'Elysée in Lausanne. It is a first in the career of JR: he has immersed himself in the collections of the Musée de l'Elysée.\rThrough his approach of reinterpretation and taking out of context, he has revisited certain works by Robert Capa, Gilles Caron, Helen Levitt and others. In putting up on the...

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Viva la Revolucion (San Diego)
From 2010-07-18 to 2011-01-02

Viva la Revolución: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape, a multifaceted exhibition that explores the dialogue between artists and the urban landscape.\rFor the first time in history, the majority of the world’s population lives in urban communities. The urban setting and its corresponding lifestyle are major sources of inspiration in contemporary culture. This is an historic revolution in visual culture, in which the codes and icons of the everyday—found on the streets in graffiti, signage, waste, tattoos, advertising, and graphic design—have been appropriated and used as an integral part of...

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Women are heroes (Paris)
From 2009-10-03 to 2009-11-02

Après avoir exposé ses portraits de femmes au Brésil, au Libéria, en Sierra Leone, au Cambodge, en Inde, en Belgique, en Angleterre et dans d’autres pays, JR présente pour la première fois à Paris l’exposition Women dans son ensemble. Après « Portraits d’une génération » parti des banlieues parisiennes et « Face2Face » exposé au Proche-Orient, « Women » consitue le troisième volet du projet 28 Millimètres, qui porte le nom de cet objectif grand angle qui oblige le photographe à se rapprocher à quelques centimètres de son modèle pour en faire le portrait. Des portraits, regards, et autres...

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