JR’s Inside Out Project – Art Can Change The World

If you follow me a tad, you may have heard me profess my love of art. I am the most unartistic person ever but I love other people’s art. One contemporary artist I am a huge fan of is JR. If you are not familiar with him, here’s a little background on him.

This is from Wikipedia:

JR is the name of a photographer and artist whose identity is unconfirmed. He has described himself as a “photograffeur”, he flyposts large black-and-white photographic images in public locations in a manner which is similar to the appropriation of the built environment by the graffiti artist. He states that the street is “the largest art gallery in the world.” He started out on the streets of Paris. JR’s work “often challenges widely held preconceptions and the reductive images propagated by advertising and the media.”

He started out as a teenager painting around the city. One day he found a camera on the Metro started taking photos of his friends while they were putting up graffiti. He then started posting up photocopies of the photos. He wanted to bring art into the streets for people who do not go to museums.

Click here to watch JR’s Ted video. If you are not the least bit stirred, I don’t know what to say.

Here’s a little bit about it but I ask you to watch the video:

The “Inside Out Project” is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work, black and white photographic portraits. The images are uploaded digitally and made into posters and sent back to the project’s co-creators for them to exhibit in their own communities. The project derived from the impulse to be collaborative and was amplified by his 2011 TED Prize Wish. JR stated: “I 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.”

This past weekend I volunteered to help with the Inside Out Project. My friend Sol, who I have known since we were both rascally hip hop head teenagers, is involved with the documentary. I will support pretty much any project that my friends are involved in. I drove up to LA and wheatpasted photos with the crew. It was a hot day and I got a bit sizzled by the sun but it was amazing to be a part of this. There were kids, parents, abuelitas, and people of walks of life and all ages. The focus for this particular project is immigration reform in America. It’s hashtag is #InsideOut11m which stands for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the USA. As a double immigrant (originally from the Philippines to Canada and then to America), I support immigration reform.

I cannot say enough of this global project. I cannot say enough of JR’s work. It’s beautiful and inspiring. If you have a chance to get involved, please do so. You don’t have to be near the trucks, you can get an action group together and they will send you supplies and print the images out for you and you can paste in your neighbourhood. It doesn’t have to be about immigration, it can be about your cause of your choice. Check the website for more information here.

Here are a few pics from Mariachi Plaza:

Wheat Pasting Inside Out Project

I am a wheat paster extraordinaire. The featured photo above is of the final product

Wheat Pasting Helper

A little helper with wheatpaster’s bum

Inside Out At Mariachi Plaza

People who came for the cause

JR's Inside Out Project

Here is the photo truck with me in front

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