Saturday, 15 February 2014

New York City Ballet presents JR

I came across the work of the French street artist and photographer JR, because of the New York City Ballet as part of their Art Series. He was recently invited by the New York City Ballet to create a large-scale art installation, in collaboration with the dancers of the company.

Entering the theater you will be knocked off your feet by the force of the 6,500-square-foot composite image of NYCB dancers that forms a giant eye. As JR explained he likes to work with architecture and for this installation he created a piece of architecture himself, creating this texture in the studio and transferring it to the building so that it becomes part of it.

Another aspect of his work are the art pieces he created, by taking pictures of the artists in movement and transferring them to wood which creates an atmosphere of ghost dancers who capture the soul of the house.

JR's art is always based on a dialogue, in this case between art and architecture, dance and art but also between spectator and art, integrating the dancers and visitors equally into the composition.

about the artist
JR owns the biggest art gallery in the world, because he exhibits freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors. His work mixes Art and Act, talks about commitment, freedom, identity and limit.

After he found a camera in the Paris subway, he did a tour of European Street Art, tracking the people who communicate messages via the walls. Then, he started to work on the vertical limits, watching the people and the passage of life from the forbidden undergrounds and roofs of Paris.

JR creates "Pervasive Art" that spreads uninvited on the buildings of the slums around Paris, on the walls in the Middle-East, on the broken bridges in Africa or the favelas in Brazil. People who often live with the bare minimum discover something absolutely unnecessary. And they don't just see it, they make it. Some elderly women become models for a day; some kids turn artists for a week. In that Art scene, there is no stage to separate the actors from the spectators.

After these local exhibitions, the images are transported to London, New York, Berlin or Amsterdam where people interpret them in the light of their own personal experience.

As he remains anonymous and doesn't explain his huge full frame portraits of people making faces, JR leaves the space empty for an encounter between the subject/protagonist and the passer-by/interpreter.

This is what JR’s work is about. Raising questions...

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