JR unveils gigantic group portrait in New York
The new public work The Chronicles of New York City just went on show at Domino Park, Brooklyn
How do you tell the story of the little guy, in art? Perhaps by making one of the biggest pictures ever. That’s certainly the French artist and activist JR’s approach. Since 2017 he has created a number of group photo portraits, as part of his ongoing Chronicles series.
“Each work entailed photographing and filming hundreds of people, alone or in groups, and then collaging their portraits together to create a narrative and highly realistic composition that dealt with a place or social issue,” explains our newly updated and expanded book, JR: Can Art Change the World. “The participants decided how they wanted to be represented and remembered.”
His latest piece, installed a couple of days ago at Domino Park in the Williamsburg neighhourhood of Brooklyn features more than one thousand New Yorkers in an epic black-and-white image mural, and is the largest piece he has ever installed in the city.
Fitted on to a stack of shipping containers built by the architectural firm LOT-EK, the work looks hugely impressive viewed in-situ, beside the Williamsburg Bridge, yet it works well on a phone screen. Get the JR:murals app and you can zoom in on the individuals featured in the work to hear audio recordings about their lives in the big city. There may be eight million stories in this city, as the old TV show had it; this new piece certainly tells fair few of them.
To find out more about this series of works and much, much more, order a copy of JR: Can Art Change the World here.