JR is a mysterious photographer, gallery owner, and street artist who has just launched an amazing global, participatory public art project as the winner of the 2011 Ted Project Prize. As the winner JR was given $100,000 and his one wish…
“… for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project, and together we’ll turn the world…INSIDE OUT.”- JR
The project Inside Out invites individuals or groups to upload black and white photographs to the project website to receive back a large-scale print of their portrait. The site offers instructions on how-to paste it for the world to see. There are no other guidelines, as far as I can tell.
This is the type of artistic expression JR has been doing for the past decade. His series Portrait of a Generation, became quite successful after he pasted his large-scale photographs of suburban thugs on the side of some buildings in the bourgeois district of Paris. Although, it was initially illegal, the Paris City Hall provided their approval by voluntarily wrapping a building with one of JRs photographs themselves. He has continued making influential large-scale black and white portraits of everyday people, but now invites others to share in his vision.
I think it is really interesting the freedom and creativity this project allows for each individual or group. The Facebook page is updated frequently as new actions are happening all around the world. It’s exciting to see all these different voices and statements, that are so varied and vast yet connected. Some political, some romantic, some honoring others, telling a story, or just making a scene, these portraits invade the everyday mundane, forcing all to at least, stop and wonder. The message, though important, isn’t the medium. It’s not always what you say, but rather that you have something to say. Inside Out is an invasion into the minds of the mindless. Giving everyone the chance to be seen, allowing all to be Heard.
I am in love with this project and am definitely going to start brainstorming for an awesome way to participate! If anyone wants to team up with me, I would love to form a group to make something happen!