It seems like JR goes either big or not at all, since all of his recent ventures have been done on a large scale. Whether he covers the outer shell of a city or a NY City Ballet with photographs, or he engages multiple communities in a global participatory project, it is always something grand. Despite the grandeur of these works, the stars of JR’s work are the people, which makes his actions down to earth and wonderfully democratic. One of the biggest projects initiated by JR so far is the INSIDE OUT project, realized he won the TED prize in 2011. The prize money is directed towards inspiring art throughout the world in something described as a global art project [that is] transforming messages of personal identity into works of art. This is INSIDE OUT, this is the people’s project that circles the globe, now happening in Dallas, Texas, seriously threatening to outgrow its maker. INSIDE OUT in Dallas commenced this January and the exhibition of globally assembled photographs will go on til March 9, 2014 at the Dallas Contemporary. The ambition of JR is to mobilize the city by visiting schools, places of business and folk on the streets to create another big project together that will turn the Dallas Contemporary Museum Inside Out – literally. The actions of JR do not solely investigate crucial social issues, but he takes his art a step further, through involvement of the people in the very making of the final exhibit.
Dallas INSIDE OUT presentation is a part of the Photobooth branch of the project. By placing photobooths on the street and at accessible places, JR engages the people to participate instantly and for free, allowing the machine to make their portrait. The portrait is then printed on a poster right away, which the participants are supposed to take and paste up in a public place in their local communities. This is a perfect way for the locals to take their message public, whether it’s regarding a local issue or the general one, such as hope, poverty, diversity, violence, global warming… To date, 1712 portraits in Dallas have been made since January 6.
Over 100,000 posters have been made so far with INSIDE OUT worldwide.
JR is a French street artist who calls himself a photograffeur. He believes he exhibits at the biggest world gallery, and this is not far from the truth. His urban takeovers of outer city walls are made with black and white photos instead of graffiti, although the guerilla principle is quite the same. He has already taken an important spot in the world of contemporary art, and has been compared to Cartier-Bresson.
Dallas Contemporary is an exhibiting institution focused on showcasing innovative and exciting art from the state, country and the globe. The museum is dedicated to incorporating the public in their program by organizing interesting exhibitions, discussions, lectures and other events. The admission to Dallas Contemporary is, how they say it – always free!