JR – 2011 TED Prize Winner

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There are many ways to make an impact, affect someone’s life or do your part to change and make the world a better place. Some people drive a Prius, some people chose politics, and some people like French Photographer JR use their imagination and creativity to inspire us. JR recently was awarded the 2011 TED Prize for his famous and thought-provoking global ‘28 millimetrés’ project and I gathered a few photos and video for you to enjoy! If you have the time, I strongly recommend watching his TED video and reading about his project, prize and wish. I promise it will make your day a little better ;)

“I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project, and together we’ll turn the world…INSIDE OUT.” – JR

You can catch more videos and read more about TED Prize at TED.com

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JR – 2011 TED Prize Winner

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.

JR represents a new chapter in the TED Prize. While a seemingly unconventional recipient, his work matches the creativity and innovative spirit of TED’s community, and his art inspires people to view the world differently –- and want to change it for the better.

JR creates what might be called 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 broken bridges in Africa, and across the favelas of Brazil. These images become part of the local landscape and capture people’s attention and imagination around the world.

In Rio, he turned hillsides into dramatic visual landscape by applying images to the facades of favela homes. In Kenya, for his project “Women Are Heroes,” he turned Kibera into a stunning gallery of local faces. (See the trailer for “Women Are Heroes” above.) And in Israel and Palestine, he mounted photos of a rabbi, imam and priest on walls across the region –- including the wall separating Israel from the West Bank.

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JR remains anonymous -– never showing his full face, revealing his name, or explaining his huge portraits –- to allow for an encounter between the subject and passers-by.

“JR’s mind-blowing creations have inspired people to see art where they wouldn’t expect it and create it when they didn’t know they could,” said TED Prize Director Amy Novogratz.

Over the course of the next months, JR will be working with the TED Prize team to develop an auducious wish that will involve the world in a brand new piece of art. The wish will be announced at TED2011 in Long Beach, California, at the end of February. Watch TEDPrize.org for news.

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About JR

JR’s career as a photographer began when he found a camera in the Paris subway. In his first major project, in 2001 and 2002, JR toured and photographed street art around Europe, tracking the people who communicate their messages to the world on walls. His first large-format postings began appearing on walls in Paris and Rome in 2003. His first book, Carnet de rue par JR, about street artists, appeared in 2005.

In 2006, he launched “Portrait of a Generation,” huge-format portraits of suburban “thugs” from Paris’ notorious banlieues, posted on the walls of the bourgeois districts of Paris. This illegal project became official when Paris City Hall wrapped its own building in JR’s photos.

In 2007, with business partner Marco, he did “Face 2 Face,” which some consider the biggest illegal photo exhibition ever. JR and a grassroots team of community members posted huge portraits of Israelis and Palestinians face to face in eight Palestinian and Israeli cities, and on both sides of the security fence/separation barrier.

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He embarked on a long international trip in 2008 for his exhibition “Women Are Heroes,” a project underlining the dignity of women who are the target of conflict. In 2010, the film Women Are Heroes was presented at the Cannes Film Festival and received a long standing ovation.

As he is anonymous and doesn’t explain his huge full-frame portraits of people making faces, JR leaves the space empty for an encounter between the subject/protagonist and the passerby/ interpreter.

This is what JR is working on: raising questions…

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3 comments
  1. This made my day. Thank you for posting this!

  2. Amazing project and amazing photos. Well deserved prize.

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