Street art has the power to beautifully disrupt the most mundane spaces. For over a decade, French artist and 2011 TED Prize winner JR has anonymously decorated landscapes from London to Brazil with his large-scale images. He photographs stunning and raw portraits of subjects who typically go unseen, blows the prints up to larger-than-life size, and pastes them up on walls and sidewalks. The images reveal a raw vision of humanity, causing the community to engage with these unexpected revelations.
JR’s latest project—dubbed Inside Out—turns his process on its head. Now, the community becomes the creator and he becomes the facilitator. Participants go to insideoutproject.net, upload a portrait of themselves and include a statement of what issue matters to them most. They then receive their posters in the mail, ready to paste up to any surface in their community. The project has spread rapidly through the globe, making political strides in Israel and Palestine, and appearing in abandoned buildings after the revolution in Tunisia.
The pictures on this page and on the cover are from an action called “South Bronx ‘S’ Heroes” in which community leaders from Hunts Point sought to add some humor and reveal the hidden identities in the neighborhood, bringing new meaning to the term “taking it to the streets.”