Congratulation to the guerrilla photographer JR who is the winner of the TED Prize award 2011. This award grants him $100,000 and a wish to change the world with the support of the TED community. While a seemingly unconventional recipient, his work matches the creativity and innovative spirit of TED’s community, and his art inspires people to view the world differently –- and want to change it for the better. His latest exhibition called “Women Are Heroes,” is a project underlining the dignity of women who are the target of conflict.
JR creates “pervasive art” where he mounts enormous black-and-white photos on buildings in areas such as the urban slums of Paris, the Middle East, Africa, and the favelas of Brazil. These images become part of the local landscape and capture people’s attention and imagination around the world.
People in the exhibit communities, those who often live with the bare minimum, discover something absolutely unnecessary but utterly wonderful. And they don’t just see it, they make it. Elderly women become models for a day; kids turn into artists for a week. In this art scene, there is no stage to separate the actors from the spectators.
As he is anonymous and doesn’t explain his huge full-frame portraits of people making faces, JR leaves the space empty for an encounter between the subject/protagonist and the passer-by/ interpreter.
This is what JR is working on. Raising questions…
An interview with JR can be found at the TED site.