La Ferita (The Wound) , 2021, Firenze, Palazzo Strozzi. Photo by JR
La Ferita (The Wound) , 2021, Firenze, Palazzo Strozzi. Photo by JR

JR opens up Italian art to all - despite the lockdown

The artist's startling new collaboration with Palazzo Strozzi in Florence raises serious questions about access to the arts in an age of Covid

Under normal circumstances Palazzo Strozzi in Florence would be filled with art, and open to art lovers. Since 2006, this Renaissance palace has hosted a huge array of exhibitions, from shows of Old Masters through to contemporary exhibitions featuring the work of such artists as Ai Weiwei, Carsten Höller and Marina Abramović.

Unfortunately, the Covid pandemic has put a stop to all that. However, that doesn’t mean the Strozzi can’t entertain art lovers. A few days ago the French artist and activist JR unveiled his work, a monumental paste-up photo collage, that makes it look as if the Strozzi has been torn open to reveal its art to those passing by.

 

La Ferita (The Wound) , 2021, Firenze, Palazzo Strozzi. Photo by JR
La Ferita (The Wound) , 2021, Firenze, Palazzo Strozzi. Photo by JR

Entitled La Ferita, or The Wound, the piece is 28 metres tall, 33 metres wide, was installed a few days ago, and will remain on display until August, by which time the Strozzi hopes it will be welcoming guests inside once more.

This catchy display of public art carries with it a serious message. The Strozzi argues that JR’s work opens up the space “to reveal a vision of an interior at once real and imaginary achieved with a black and white photographic collage to trigger a debate on the accessibility of culture in the age of Covid-19.”

 

JR: Can Art Change the World?
JR: Can Art Change the World?

You can read more about how JR’s public art informs public debate by getting a copy of JR: Can Art Change The World? here. You can also get a copy of his new book for children of all ages How Old Am I? here.

Meanwhile, for all you art lovers just waiting to get back into the great venues around the world, may we recommend The Art Museum, as a suitable print substitute?