meet JR, street artist and urban activist

A contemporary french artist known for his captivating street installations, JR is setting the stage in San Fransisco for his second urban fresco. In last year’s “Chronicles of Clichy-Montfermeil” he showcased the multitude of personas found within the Paris suburb Les Boquets in a mural of over 750 photos.

 

This month he’s bringing his lens to SF where he plans to capture the city’s cultural contrasts in a fifty foot trailer he’s converted to a mobile studio. He hopes that parking his studio in a different spot everyday will allow him to “portray as accurately as possible the entirety of the city.”

jr_homeless

JR / From roofs in Kibera, Kenya to the oldest favelas of Rio, the self proclaimed “urban activist’s” installations tell stories that cities would if only buildings could speak. Known simply to the world as JR, he began his journey using street art to amplify the voices of the most marginalized members of society. He has since traveled the world delivering messages on behalf of those unwilling or unable to speak up for themselves.

In the street, we reach people who never go to museums.

jr_louvrejr x liu bolin

the border In 2017 JR installed the image of a one year old child peering into the US from the southern side of the US-Mexico border; a potential show of solidarity with Dreamers whose legal immigrant status is under attack by the Trump Administration. He followed up the installation with a picnic where guests gathered around a table with ends on both sides of the border.

jr_borderjr_picnic

face 2 face A series of Israeli and Palestinian portraits across eight cities and on both sides of the barrier separating the two countries. The series was the largest illegal photo exhibition ever.

jr_west_bank

women are heroes A series created to pay homage to the women around the world subject to the effects of war, crime and rape. Portraits and eyes from the exhibition can be found on walls, bridges and roofs from Kenya and Cambodia to a ship carrying hundreds of containers across the world.

jr_women_are_heroes
le havre, france
jr_favela2
favela morro da providência, rio, brasil
jr_kibera2
train passage 5, kibera slum, kenya
jr_liberia
monrovia, liberia