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Street art takes us away from our everydayness, in a way helping us to transcend our reality and at the same time to seizure the moment. But what if an artist dares to go further and live and create for the idea of changing the world?
Jr, an incredible artist, takes his art to streets where he defines as the biggest art gallery in the world. He won several prices including the 2011 TED Prize.
His art journey is more than interesting. After finding a “cheap camera” on Paris subway, Jr started taking photos and pasting them on sideways and his first exhibition, Sidewalk Gallery, comes up like that. Then during the Paris riot in 2005, Jr with his 28 mm lens camera, took the photos of the faces of that riot, and pasted them to the walls of “the bourgeois area of Paris”. He brought the faces of two different worlds together.
And then a year later, his extraordinary project Face2Face, in his own words “the biggest illegal art exhibition” starts. Jr decides to go to burning Middle East to witness the reality with his own eyes, and he discovers that the hostility between Israel and Palestine is not at the same level between local people. He pastes the photos of both Palestinian and Isrealis next to each other, on both of the sides of the Seperation Wall, and shows the whole world, that the reality is not the same as how it seems. Despite the concerned comments and doubts, the project works perfectly well. Jr indicates that “they all accepted to be pasted next to the other”. He says that he didn’t push the limit, just showed that there’s something further than what we usually count on. Nonetheless he pushes another limit, by letting his art to exist on the edge, instead of a protected, artifical world. What Jr does with his art, encourages us to pursue the true meaning of residing in this severe world, and shows us the possibility of actually taking a part to change the world.
Jr has many art projects, 28 millimeters, Face2Face, Women are Heroes, and currently he’s working on The Wrinkles of The City and Unframed. He also has a project called Inside Out Project, with the motto of “use art to turn the world inside out”. It’s an interactive project that people can upload portraits, and receive them as posters to paste. Jr is giving the chance to express what each of us stand for in this life. http://www.insideoutproject.net/
The dangers of the streets, of real life, or the self destructive nature of street art doesn’t stop Jr, he indicates that his work doesn’t have to stay there forever, by emphasizing on the power of the images, instead of the result, he points out the way how things are done.
Every project of this semi-anonymous artist is incredible, because he goes further beyond conventional human thinking, takes his work to extremely insecure places by trusting his art, the power of art. As an artist he is aware of the possibilities and beauties of this life even in the areas of crisis, and doesn’t hesitate to reveal it even at the most dangerous places. The beauty of his work lies in this courage.
Check Jr’s website, to discover the amazing work he has done. http://www.jr-art.net/