JR - Born in 1983 in Paris, France
Lives and works between Paris, France and New York, New York, USA
JR works at the intersection of photography, street art, filmmaking and social engagement. Over the last two decades he has developed multiple public projects and numerous site-specific interventions in cities all over the world: from buildings in the slums around Paris, to the walls in the Middle East and Africa or the favelas of Brazil. Recent solo exhibitions of his work include The Chronicles of San Francisco at SFMOMA, San Francisco (2019), JR: Chronicles at the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn (2019) and Momentum, la mécanique de l’épreuve at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris (2018).
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.
Originator of the 28 Millimeters Project which he started in and around Clichy-Montfermeil in 2004, continued in the Middle East with Face 2 Face (2007), in Brazil and Kenya for Women Are Heroes (2008-2011), the documentary for which was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010 (Critics' Week).
JR is also the director of two full-length documentaries: Women Are Heroes (2011) and, with Agnès Varda, the Academy Award-nominated Faces and Places (2017).
JR has created "Infiltrating art". During his collage activities, the local communities take part in the act of artistic creation, with no stage separating actors from spectators. The anonymity of JR and the absence of any explanation accompanying his huge portraits leave him with a free space in which issues and actors, performers and passers-by meet, forming the essence of his work.
In 2011 he received the Ted Prize, giving him the opportunity to make a vow to change the world. He created Inside Out, an international participatory art project that allows people from around the world to receive a print of their portrait and then billboard it as support for an idea, a project, an action and share that experience.
In 2014, working with the New York City Ballet, he used the language of dance to tell his version of the riots in the Clichy-Montfermeil district. He created The Groves, a ballet and short film, the music for which was composed by Woodkid, Hans Zimmer and Pharrell Williams, and which was presented at the Tribeca Film Festival.
At the same time, JR worked in the abandoned hospital of Ellis Island, an important place in the history of immigration – and made the short film ELLIS, with Robert De Niro.
In 2016, JR was invited by the Louvre, whose pyramid he made disappear the with the help of an astonishing anamorphosis. The same year, during the Olympic Games in Rio, he created gigantic new sculptural installations throughout the city, to underline the beauty of the sporting gesture.