JR is on TIME Magazine's 100 most influential list
He is commended for dedicating his career to bridging gaps - physical, cultural, spiritual - among all people
The publication of TIME magazine’s TIME 100 List of the World's Most Influential People is always accompanied by cries of "Well chosen!" as well as the odd "WTF?", here and there. And this year's list is no different.
However, there are some names on there that no one could deny are anything other than very worthy inclusions. And into that latter category falls the Phaidon author, artist and activist JR.
He's nominated by Laurene Powell Jobs, executive and the founder of the Emerson Collective, which advocates for policies concerning education and immigration reform, social justice and environmental conservation. She writes compellingly about why he's on the list. This is what she says.
"In 2005, residents of the Paris projects appeared in the city’s wealthy neighborhoods—or, rather, giant photographs of them did. It was the work of JR, the French street artist who has dedicated his career to bridging gaps - physical, cultural, spiritual - among people of all backgrounds.
JR’s public art has since created thousands of similar encounters, all around the world. He has expanded into new formats - most recently with the Oscar-nominated documentary film Faces Places, which celebrates the dignity of France’s forgotten rural villages.
At the U.S.-Mexico border, his much-viewed installation helped inject humanity into our polarizing immigration debate. Like all of JR’s work, the imagery is at once playful and profound: a merry toddler peeking over the unforgiving steel barrier.
In 2013, I partnered with JR on Inside Out/Dreamers, an art installation that toured the U.S. The project inspired so much participation that we decided to do it again last year, allowing “Dreamers” and their communities to show their support for the Dream Act in a beautiful and powerful way.
The legislation has stalled, but the connections the project sparked continue. JR’s art changes the ways we perceive each other. The impact of that shift may be far greater than we imagine."
Congratulations JR! Buy his book Can Art Change The World? here and see the full TIME list here which also includes architect Liz Diller who gets a shout out from art collector Eli Broad, whose museum she designed. Broad calls her “a visionary" and someone who "can turn a metaphor into brick and mortar”. We agree with that. And so will you if you buy her book, The High Line, here.