If you’ve never seen a TED talk, you’re missing out. TED talks promote the spread of technology, entertainment, and design. Essentially, TED was designed to spread ideas around the world. There is a prize awarded for exceptional ideas and talents. This prize is worth $100,000 and the granting of “One Wish to Change the World”.
JR, a French street artist, was recently awarded the TED prize without even knowing it. Starting off in the streets of Paris as a graffiti artist, JR quickly turned to photography. JR would bring art to “improbable places” by taking pictures of people and gluing large portraits to buildings and walls. Whether the purpose was political or artistic, JR has made some of the unlikeliest places beautiful.
One project that JR did is called Face2Face. This project is absolutely beautiful, brilliant, and conveys a strong political message. JR travelled to Israel/Palestine and took photos of Israelis and Palestinians and posted these large photos on the wall separating the two areas. The photos were taken of people doing the same job on either side of the wall. Using, often, comical caricatures of the people, JR was able to show that the people are not all that different on either sides of the wall. In fact, when asked with whole was the Palestinian and the Israeli, many people were unable to answer that question!
Another project which is titled Women Are Heroes, JR travels to places such as Africa, Brazil, and India. He takes the stories of women who have been through unimaginable tragedies and turns the story into art that is displayed on buildings, favelas, trains, mountains, and more.
To learn more about JR’s newest project, check it out here at Inside Out Project. I encourage you to watch the full TED talk to understand how beautiful JR’s art really is.