Construction Walls or a Blank Canvas?
For street artists, it's a canvas! Soho is flooded with inspiration; one of a kind art installations by street artists from all over the world. The construction space on the corner of Wooster and Grande lends itself to famous artists like Shepard Fairey, the artists at Colossal Media, and JR. This years Ted prize winner, JR, recently installed his latest artwork in our neighborhood.
JR’s career as a photographer and street artist began when he found a stray camera in a Paris subway. He creates pervasive art that spreads on buildings of Parisian slums, on walls in the Middle East, on broken bridges in Africa and in favelas in Brazil. There's no stage to separate the actors from the spectators in his art scenes.
JR's most recent project, "Inside Out", is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of art. The project is a collaboration between JR, Ted Prize, and participants around the world. His most recent pastings on Wooster and Grand are a part of JR's portion of the project. His Native American background inspires these large-scale photographs of self-expression; cropped images of painted Native American faces. JR's images are eye-catching and surprising to pedestrians passing by. Normally, I associate street art with grafitti, large scale paintings, and advertising campaigns. The giant-sized photographs turn our neighborhood streets into an art exhibition. His images are full of real-life emotion. They tell a story people can connect to.
Every morning I pass by JR's images on my walk to work. They remind me of 3 things: self- expression, individuality, and determination. Important qualities to embody as a designer. But everyone has a different interpretation of JR's installation. Does his work inspire you?
JR continues to paint the city with large-scale photographs from his global project, "Inside Out". You can see more pastings on Essex and Rivington and Houston and Bowery.