This year, JR became one of the Olympic Games’ first artists in residence. And the French artist took the opportunity to a grand level with three massive sculptures scattered across Rio. JR’s black-and-white photos of athletes, erected with scaffolding, loom over passers-by, whether jumping over a building or plunging into the water. The images were installed in Flamengo, Botafogo, and Barra da Tijuca, respectively. JR was featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 17.
The Louvre’s famous giant glass pyramid, designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, became a landmark of the city of Paris in 1989- until it was made invisible by French street artist JR last week. The artist’s installation is a trick of the eye, a gigantic paper photograph of the Louvre Museum covering the pyramid as part of JR’s “artist takeover”. Featured here on our blog, JR is well known for monumental black and white pastings covering buildings all over the world.
French artist JR has just completed a new installment of his “Wrinkles of the City” project in Istanbul. He first began the series (covered here) in 2008, as an effort to paint a portrait of urbanization around the world. Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, is the economic and cultural center of the country. With a population of 14.4 million people, it is also the largest urban agglomeration in Europe – more than 60% of people living there were born out of the city. As an answer to the growing lack of space, buildings are being demolished to make room for the construction of new neighborhoods. JR spent two weeks on top of its roofs and in its streets, installing large scale images of its elder generation, who have shaped and been affected by Istanbul’s population shift.
Known for his uplifting, large-scale photographic portraits of ordinary people, French artist JR recently travelled to New York’s Ellis Island for a site-specific project on the famed historical site. The island once housed the largest immigrant processing center in the nation, filtering millions of newcomers to the States from the 1890s through the 1950s. Ellis Island now houses an immigration museum, though parts of it have been left untouched. JR was invited to reinvigorate the destitute, abandoned buildings on the island’s south side with his project “Unframed — Ellis Island,” opening to the public on October 1.