Born in France in 1983, JR has the largest art gallery, exhibiting his works free of charge on the walls of the world. Thanks to his photographic collage technique, he has attracted the attention of art lovers internationally.
During his collage activities, the local communities take part in the act of artistic creation, with no stage separating actors from spectators. The anonymity of JR and the absence of any explanation accompanying his huge portraits leave him with a free space in which issues and actors, performers and passers-by meet, forming the essence of his work.
JR’s career as an artist began in 2001 when he found a camera in the Parisian Metro. He is the originator of the 28 Millimeters Project, which he started in and around Clichy-Montfermeil in 2004. In 2011, he received the Ted Prize, giving him the opportunity to make a vow to change the world. He created Inside Out, an international participatory art project that allows people from around the world to receive a print of their portrait and then billboard it as support for an idea, a project, an action and share that experience.
More recent projects include his 2014 collaboration with the New York City Ballet, he used the language of dance to tell his version of the riots in the Clichy-Montfermeil district. He created The Groves, a ballet and short film, the music for which was composed by Woodkid, Hans Zimmer and Pharrell Williams, and which was presented at the Tribeca Film Festival. While in New York, he also worked in the abandoned hospital of Ellis Island, an important place in the history of immigration – and made the short film ELLIS, with Robert De Niro.
In 2016, JR was invited by the Louvre, whose pyramid he made disappear with the help of an astonishing anamorphosis. The same year, during the Olympic Games in Rio, he created gigantic new sculptural installations throughout the city, to underline the beauty of the sporting gesture.
JR's blown-up photographs are pasted on mainly urban surfaces such as the sides of buildings, bridges, rooftops and even trains. Not only do they confront the public audience, they help engage audiences where they least expect it while involving their respective communities in an artistic action that consolidates their relationship to their immediate surroundings; JR’s art is about asking questions and opening a conversation between people.