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JR: Inside Out

In this feature from the inspiration feed crew, we look at probably one of our favorite art projects doing the rounds. JR's Inside Out out project is a global street art movement that focuses on the medium of wheat-paste portraits. The project is aimed at telling and sharing the untold stories and images of people around the world. The communities involved become the curators, artists and the subjects.

The project, inspired by JR's large format street pastings, is open for anyone to participate, anywhere in the world. The idea behind it is to place emphasis on the people and their stories behind each action, or cause. Besides the printing of portraits, participants have full control of both the creative process (taking their pictures) to the pasting process (the installation of the posters). By using strictly black-and-white portraits, which are printed and then pasted in an exterior space, each group action can make a statement in the form of a public artwork and share their message with the rest of the world.

Born in France on February 22, 1983, JR was just another average teenager with a passion for graffiti. He lived graffiti and truly enjoyed the movement. However, it was not until he found a camera on the subway that his perception on street art change. This allowed him to track the individuals who communicate messages via walls and street art. He quickly began to track people in the forbidden undergrounds and roofs of Paris, France. In 2004, street artist JR photographed the riots that broke out in the banlieues and created his first major project by pasting up large prints of their faces around the city.

Currently, his most common method to create street art is through the use of wheat pasting and gigantic mono photographs. He often gets his subject models faces with a 28mm wide-angle lens which result in portraits that unguarded, funny, soulful, real, and that capture the spirits of individuals who normally go unseen. His work of art brings forward common everyday materials to the light. These blown-up images are then pasted on urban surfaces such as the sides of buildings, bridges, rooftops, and even trains. Not only do they confront the public audience, but they also help engage audiences where they least expect it. Often introducing those who are unfortunate in the world to the remaining population in the world.

Over the years JR has constantly engaged his street artwork audience and has presented numerous exhibitions and projects to include, Women are Heroes, The Wrinkles of the City, and InsideOut. His work has touched thousands of city inhabitants and often displaying culture, history, and memory for a particular location. His work can be found worldwide, and he has touched cities such as Cartagena, Shanghai, and Los Angeles.

This artist combines powerful social statements through large portraits and murals. In 2011, street artist JR won the TED Prize for his phenomenal work done worldwide. He is often compared to other politically charged art works. His artwork is just one simple wish to change the world one step at a time.

To get involved with your own Inside Out action visit the official website here: Inside Out

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