Today I wanted to share one of my favorite artists – someone who combines art, ingenuity, and a little bit of rule-breaking to make a bold statement about social awareness. “JR” is a French street artist using his larger-than-life photographic murals to literally change the face of the world around him. His work is unique in that it lives where his subjects, which are often slums and violent neighborhoods. An established artist and 2011 TED Prize winner, it’s hard for me to decide if I like the work itself best, or the social change it brings about.
His Project “Women” is especially moving. Inspired by women who are “often the first one’s who get it during war,” JR’s project underlines the dignity of women who are often the targets of conflicts. “Women” took JR to Africa, India, Cambodia and Brazil and put him in contact with women who had experienced the tragedies of war; displacement, rape, loss of a child and psychological injury. In my favorite series in this project, “Women are Heroes,” JR blew up images of women living in near a train yard in Kibera, Kenya to cover the roofs of their homes. The kicker? The material he used also water-proofed their houses.
Art that makes a powerful statement AND helps people at the same time?…sounds familiar. We love sharing a vision with artists who can combine these two aspects to create socially responsible design.
And while I could go on and on about his art and his cause, I think I will let his work speak for itself. Check out all of his projects here.