Next stop, Los Angeles.
JR is back with the next instalment of his worldwide project The Wrinkles of the City. This time the visionary artist focuses on the people of Los Angeles. Is it really as superficial as the media paints it?
To look a city in the face
JR knows how to hold up a mirror to a community. “In the home of the moving image,” Jane Rosenthal writes, “he has used his still photographs – stunningly magnified and arrestingly positioned – to prompt profound questions about what a meaningful life entails.” This is JR’s way of reminding us that we are all witnesses to the triumphs and outrages of our generation. As he photographs his subjects, he listens to their fascinating life stories and immortalises the only witnesses left of the past. Los Angeles is where the Hollywood myth was born, where glamour and beauty of the city has come to define it. For this project, JR juxtaposes the imperfection and the meaning which is held in the wrinkles of the elderly with the image of ‘perfection’ and regenerated beauty that has become a hallmark of the 21st Century.
Getting-up with JR
The 2011 TED prize winner, born in 1983, started off as a graffiti artist but turned to photography after finding a camera in a Paris metro station. In 2007, with Marco, he made ‘Face 2 Face’, the biggest illegal art exhibition ever posting huge portraits of Israelis and Palestinians face to face in eight Palestinian and Israeli cities. Since then he has gone on to undertake a variety of projects using the sides of buildings and other structures as an open gallery. Heading back to his native country in 2016, the artist chose to cover the famous Louvre Pyramid in one of his black and white photographs. The photographer recently also turned his own talents to directing the short film ELLIS. The narrative, starring Robert de Niro, centres around JR’s own unframed artwork on Ellis Island and the forgotten story of the immigrants who built the USA.
Printed in Italy