Photograff (JR)

Dimensions109 cm x 94 cm x 18 cm
Materials Sandblasted glass, painted aluminum, wood, and drawing

J.R. (Pronounced Gee Air) a contemporary French artist is a photograffeur. This means he com-bines photography and graffiti into his monumental projects. His method of operation is to mount large-scale photo murals in freely available public spaces. This often requires them to be collaged due to the irregularity of walls in the city streets. His mission is to bring art to the public who may never set foot in a museum. When he was young, he found a camera on the Paris Metro and that set him off. Sometime later, between 2004 and 2006 he began his 28 mm project, a portrait of a generation which were photographs of young toughs making scary faces shot with a 28 mm lens blown up to enormous scale and pasted on the walls of the Les Bousquet district of Paris. This pro-ject is what shot him to notoriety.

Subsequently he has worked on projects all over the world. In the middle east he brought profile images of Israelis and Palestinians face to face in eight cities in Israel and Palestine. He has done two projects on the exterior of the Louvre Museum. One where he made the Pyramid of I.M. Pei disappear through pasting the image of the building that is directly behind the pyramid to the glass. The second project in the plaza was an illusion that the pyramid was inverted. People were allowed to continue their normal activity and by walking on it the photo mural was destroyed within 24 hours. In 2018 his collage cover of Time Magazine was a gateway into the 245 filmed interviews he did with people from Dallas, Saint Louis, and Washington D.C. who have been affected by guns.

Although his main arena is the streets of Paris, he has done projects in the USA, Brazil, Kenya, Si-erra Leone, India, and Cambodia. The gaze of women’s eyes in my piece is from. His “Women as Heros” project.

Like many other artists who do large-scale public work he has a wonderful knack of engaging community participation in mounting his monumental photographic installations.