How to Conquer Paris – As An Artist
Keeping his real identity under wraps, the artist known as “JR” has managed to make a colossal mark on the art world. Winner of the 2011 Ted Prize, the self-described "photograffeur" posts big black-and-white photographic images in public locations – not unlike a graffiti artist - and considers himself owner of the world’s largest gallery: the streets. Having indeed started out on the streets of Paris, JR's newest work is a grand-scale installation in that city’s world-renowned Pantheon, a veritable temple to outstanding French citizens. Commissioned by the Center of National Monuments, he has covered parts of the Pantheon’s interior as well as its exterior dome with hundreds of portraits while the building undergoes renovation. JR collected the images in March 2014 from his traveling photo booth truck, and they create a virtual mosaic of faces amid the Pantheon’s stunning architectural elements. You can take a grand virtual tour of the installation here, and we’ve also included the artist’s website for a more detailed look at the project and process.
By Jorge Socarras