I was introduced to JR’s work in 2008 when he started work on a project called “women are heroes.” After reading about this artist in a recent issue of Fast company, I’m still drawn in, happy and troubled by his “women are heroes” project. I can only hope that JR’s recent recognition from the 2011 Annual TED prize goes back to these women. The prize is given to “exceptional individuals” devoted to changing the world. The TED genie grants those prize recipients One Wish to Change the World — as well as $100,000.
JR creates art that spreads uninvited on the buildings of the slums around Paris, on the walls in the Middle-East, on the broken bridges in Africa or the favelas in Brazil. People who often live with the bare minimum discover something absolutely unnecessary. And they don’t just see it, they make it. Some elderly women become models for a day; some kids turn artists for a week. In that Art scene, there is no stage to separate the actors from the spectators. JR owns the biggest art gallery in the world. He exhibits freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are not the museum visitors. His work mixes Art and Act, talks about commitment, freedom, identity and limit.