Lame title to a blog post I know, I apologize. However I was trying to find something to convey the substance attached to the work of Parisian artist 'JR', and that his work isn't just your plain and standard visual offering. The more I read about him and consumed all his work via, photos, videos and articles the more my heart danced and my stomach pulsed. What an affect that is, but it is all true. The thing is, behind every image and every exhibition, there is a point, there is a cause...and that is what is inspiring.
Social commentary via Art projects is not a new thing. Political rebellion and statement makers rely heavily on art to shine light on their cause, sometimes it is in legal forms and most others it is not. Who is to say that some are successful, and some forms aren't but Artist JR has managed to perforate and permeate through the consciousness of many worldwide, to the awareness of some of the things that happen around us globally.
Starting in the Parisian Ghetto's he took portraits of the local people and postered them up on their apartment walls, this added an element of community which was reported back to him by the residences. However being a neighbourhood saturated in social unrest, violent riots occurred with the French government starting out from this very ghetto, news footage of an exploding car went worldwide and in the background was one of JR's photos. Interest gained and project commissions flooded through his door. The most memorable of his projects for me would be the Portraits of a Generation (a branch of his first inner city photo poster project), Face to Face (posters of Palestinian and Israeli nationals adorned on opposite nations infrastructure to highlight unity) and 'Women', a celebration of Women display based in Africa, South America and even Paris.
In several video interviews, including the one down below what I love about the heart of what JR is doing is that he admittedly is not trying to change the world in a radical way, but affect it positively even in the smallest. With Portraits of a Generation he wanted people to know and remember the actual humanness, life and personality of the inner city boy usually stereotyped, and when producing Women he said the one smile he could see from the tragedy experienced women he featured was enough to know it was worth it, and also to provide a community unity to the neighbourhoods he work in. In that, in the depth of my heart I appreciate and aspire to what he does.
Have a look and read of what he has done and let me know what you think?