JR is a pseudonymous photographer and graffiti artist. Best known for fly-papering photocopies of his artwork on the roads, JR's roots as a photographer started when he discovered a camera at the Paris subway and began documenting his own graffiti work. He moved on to staging portraits of his acquaintances and friends, which he'd then paste onto building interiors and exteriors.
One of his earliest photo collection, Portraits of a Generation, was a documentation of the residents of the local Cité des Bosquets during the 2005 French riots--JR deliberately pasting the photos in wealthier east Paris neighbourhoods as means of social and political review. The artist has had several ongoing projects, such as Inside Out, a participatory photo series where hundreds of individual portraits have been brought together to make large-scale, cohesive pictures. He's the winner of a TED Prize in 2011, and the manager of a short film Ellis, starring Robert De Niro, at 2015.
A semi-anonymous street artist of global renown, JR plasters giant, monochrome pictures of faces in urban centres --on rooftops and walls, from church windows, and along the sides of trucks.
Asking the road his gallery and"using artwork to turn the entire world inside out," JR delivers a message of social activity, telling the tales of the voiceless. "Portrait d'une Generation" (2004-06) featured pictures of young African immigrants hamming for the camera, plastered from the Paris suburbs in the wake of big rioting; for his job"Face 2 Face" in 2005 and 2007. JR's artist really is one of a kind, the locations and messages he promotes through his work is beautiful.
Who is JR?
Born to a Tunisian mother and European dad in Paris, JR began out as a graffiti tagger with the monicker Face 3 prior to turning into photography, shooting photos of other road musicians at work. In 2004, however, after riots broke from the banlieues, JR made his first significant job, photographing the faces of the rioters and gluing up large prints of the faces across town.
This strategy, which humanized a mostly immigrant people that the government formally termed"scum," is now JR's signature. In 2007, he glued portraits of Arabs and Jews on walls during Israel and the West Bank for its job Face2Face, and in 2008, following the government-involved murder of three young men at Rio de Janeiro's disenfranchised Morro da Providência favela led to riots, he plastered huge images of their eyes of their community's girls (like relatives of the deceased youths) on buildings appearing to the town for Girls Are Heroes.
Giants, Kikito and the Boarder Patrol, Tecate, Mexico - U.S.A, 2017
He's received critical acclaim for his worldwide art jobs that bring together diverse teams of participants and make conversation about critical social problems, from women's rights to immigration, to gun control.
Artist JR spotlights communities around the world by photographing individual members of these communities then wheat pasting their pictures -sometimes digitally - to a massive scale generally reserved for commercials featuring models, actors, and politicians.
These instalments have been intentionally put in public spaces nearby or inside the communities with whom JR has partnered, permitting the people depicted to stay in the middle of the discussions motivated by the artist's job.
Through the Eye of Liu Bolin, 2012
What type of artwork does JR create?
Street Artist JR creates pervasive artwork that spreads uninvited on the structures of their slums in France the walls at the Middle East, the broken bridges from African, along with also the favelas in Brazil. JR has traveled into dangerous and distant areas many times. Does he repaint communities, however he also befriends populations by recruiting them as versions or collaborators. JR is traditionally known as a photographer but his artwork speaks for itself.
Creating large-scale public photography projects in cities across the world that tackle neighbourhood political battles, the French artist JR has lately become one of the most visible contemporary artists on the global stage.
Paradoxically, he is also among the most personal, identifying himself only by his initials and constantly wearing dark sunglasses and a fedora in public. Evading simple categorization, JR's socially minded experiments in photography, filmmaking, and relational aesthetics have headed his fellow street artist Shepard Fairey to call him"the toughest person I know."
Finding Hope, day view, Paris, France, 2020
The value of JR's artwork has continued to increase over the years. While his artwork may be easier gain access to in the art market, the prices have seen a steady incline throughout the past few years. JR is in fact a blue-ship represented artist. This means his representation is well known in the art market and his artwork respectfully seems to holds its value on average. A comforting thing to known when looking to purchase artwork by JR and potentially look at it in the sense of an investment.
Ladj Ly - (2006)
"JR has the largest art gallery in the world. Thanks to his photographic collage technique, he exhibits his work free of charge on the walls of the whole world – attracting the attention of those who do not usually go to museums." - JR Art Net
Is JR an Artist or Photographer?
This is a tough question to answer, this question is consistently asked about JR. I'd like to believe anyone who is a photographer is an artist on their own and if they choose to venture off into different types of art, this simply means an artist is expanding their horizons. JR was a graffiti artist in the beginning but found a great love for photography. His archive of photographer is quite extensive and can be found on his website for you to browse. Year after being a photographer, JR decided to merge his two interests together.
Tehachapi, The Yard, U.S.A., 2019
JR's work has a lot of meaning behind it, his art visually discuses various crisis/problems going on in the world. The size of his artwork attracts eyes, press and a lot of coverage. If JR is in your city working on a piece, you're guaranteed to hear about it when it's finished.
Presently, his most common process to make street art is via the use of wheat pasting and colossal mono photographs. He frequently gets his subject versions faces using a 28mm wide-angle lens that result in portraits that unguarded, funny, soulful, real, which catch the spirits of people who normally go unseen.
This is NOT Investing or Financial advice, we're sharing our opinions respectfully from a speculative point of view