french street art artist JR @TOKYO - video
Like a slicker, feelgood version of Banksy, TED-approved street artist JR uses entire neighbourhoods – from Brazilian favelas to the Israeli West Bank barrier – as a canvas for his photographs. Already featured in last year's Turning Around exhibition at the Watari-Um, he's now the suspect of a larger solo show that provides a chronological overview of his entire career to date. Be sure to stop and admire the museum exterior on the way in, decorated with a selection of the 400 portraits that JR recently took in the Tohoku region.
A self-described “photograffeur,” French artist JR’s artwork is based on flyposting giant photographic images in public spaces to offer a form of social commentary. In “Portrait of a Generation” (2006), he brought attention to the community in Montfermeil, France, by flyposting portraits of teens and young adults, a generation that was too often unfairly associated with the 2005 riots. His 2008 “Women are Heroes” paid tribute to the local women of a favela in Rio de Janeiro, a community whose women have often fallen victim to crime, rape, religious conflicts and other social injustices.
This is JR’s first-ever solo exhibition and it showcases several of his projects chronologically, including one that highlights the resilience of Japanese locals who survived the disasters of March 11, 2011; till June 2.