With a camera, a dedicated wheatpasting crew and the help of whole villages and favelas, 2011 TED Prize winner JR shows the world its true face.

Why you should listen

Working anonymously, pasting his giant images on buildings, trains, bridges, the often-guerrilla artist JR forces us to see each other. Traveling to distant, often dangerous places -- the slums of Kenya, the favelas of Brazil -- he infiltrates communities, befriending inhabitants and recruiting them as models and collaborators. He gets in his subjects’ faces with a 28mm wide-angle lens, resulting in portraits that are unguarded, funny, soulful, real, that capture the sprits of individuals who normally go unseen. The blown-up images pasted on urban surfaces – the sides of buildings, bridges, trains, buses, on rooftops -- confront and engage audiences where they least expect it. Images of Parisian thugs are pasted up in bourgeois neighborhoods; photos of Israelis and Palestinians are posted together on both sides of the walls that separate them.

JR's most recent project, "Women Are Heroes," depicts women "dealing with the effects of war, poverty, violence, and oppression” from Rio de Janeiro, Phnom Penh, Delhi and several African cities. And his TED Prize wish opens an even wider lens on the world -- asking us all to turn the world inside out. Visit insideoutproject.net ...

What others say

"I would like to bring art to improbable places, create projects so huge with the community that they are forced to ask themselves questions." — JR, Beaux Arts Magazine

JR on the TED Blog
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Art

Not a bug splat: This massive portrait is a message to drone operators

April 7, 2014

This portrait of a girl tells a story larger than the massive piece of vinyl it is printed on. Unfurled in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan, “#NotABugSplat” was created by a collection of artists and activists, using TED Prize winner JR’s Inside Out campaign, to send a message to drone operators, who reportedly call their kills “bug splats” because they […]

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Quotes from JR

The city’s the best gallery I could imagine. I would never have to make a book and then present it to a gallery and let them decide if my work was nice enough to show it to people. I would control it directly with the public in the streets.
JR
TED2011 • 2.1M views Mar 2011
Inspiring, Courageous
Art is not supposed to change the world, to change practical things, but to change perceptions. Art can change the way we see the world. Art can create an analogy.
JR
TED2011 • 2.1M views Mar 2011
Inspiring, Courageous