Meet 2011 TED Prize Winner: JR
JR, the 2011 Ted Prize Winner, is a semi-anonymous street artists who uses his art to express his advocacy in some of the most troubled places on earth. JR keeps his full name and parts of his face under wraps, quite understandably, because his method of expression is designed to provoke a stinging awareness and change. JR is a photographer but not just. He goes around the world and challenges the status quo by pasting pictures on walls and roofs and trains and on any surface that will hold his photographs.
The most remarkable thing about JR’s work is that despite the simplicity of his methods the impact it leaves on the people involved is profound and deeply unnerving. His black and white prints pasted on hillside houses create a collage of eyes staring, watching, silently bearing witness to the violence and injustice that has just transpired. Whole faces are formed and transformed as the smiles pasted on the hillside align with the eyes pasted on a moving train travelling atop that same hill. It is so hard to view his work without somehow being intrigued and taunted by its quiet powerful message.
JR was awarded the TED Prize for his inspiring collaborative work all across the globe, creating ripples of change among the lives he touches. JR will receive from TED US$100,000 and “One wish to change the world.” This is JR’s wish:
“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.”
JR’s Inside Out Project is a fun way to participate in peaceful global movement of personal advocacy. By pasting up portraits of the things we care about, we too can stand up and speak out with the rest of the world in a silent reverberating gesture of unity that is both diversely global and intimately personal. Speaking through pictures, we break down the barrier of language. I would like to invite everyone who cares about anything to get involved and participate; and to even just try to make a difference in their own little part of the world.
Watch JR’s inspiring video (below) as he launches his newest project on TED. You can participate in fulfilling JR’s wish. Upload your own photograph depicting what you care about and JR will send you a poster that you can paste on your wall so you can turn the world …INSIDE OUT.
You can upload your photos here.
Here are some of JR’s Projects: