JR in Florence with THE WOUND

“The street artist” by Beatrice Brandini

A work by JR in London

From March 19, JR, one of the most famous and influential contemporary artists in the world, will change face at Palazzo Strozzi.

Faces of citizens on the floor and facade of the Pantheon in Paris, Inside-Out project

The French artist, through a monumental site-specific installation, will propose a reflection on the accessibility to places of culture in the era of Covid-19. Called to reinterpret the facade of one of the symbols of the Renaissance and of Florence, through a new installation entitled “La Ferita”.

   

The glass of the Louvre (the work of the architect Ieoh Ming Pei) in JR’s work “A disappearing pyramid”.

JR uses photographic collage as an expressive technique, which he has manifested in cities around the world. As he himself states, “I have the largest imaginable art gallery: the walls of the whole world”. This interesting artist combines originality and appropriation, which has led him to create works of great visual impact, even in size, in different places and contexts, from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, to the great square of the Louvre Pyramid, to the maximum security prison of Tehachapi in California.

“GIANTS” project dedicated to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics

Palazzo Strozzi is not new to events of the genre, we remember the installation of the rowboats by Ai Wei Wei or the interaction with the spectators in the beautiful exhibition dedicated to Marina Abramović; in fact, as stated by the Director General of the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation Arturo Galasino, this exhibition once again affirms the desire to create a dialogue between ancient and contemporary. JR’s new work represents a strong signal of reflection on the difficult conditions of access to culture in the era of the pandemic, but equally an involvement of the public under the banner of values such as freedom, creative imagination and participation.

“GIANTS” project dedicated to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics

In a terrible historical moment for art, where museums are closed, exhibitions are stopped and the possibility of traveling is denied, all aspects that prevent the enjoyment of art, the choice to create a work visible to all in the facade of a historic building like that of Palazzo Strozzi, becomes an invitation to rediscover a direct link with art, and, in my opinion, a gesture of courage and enormous generosity.

The little Kikito on Mexican soil at the US border, JR’s Inside Out project

JR, born Jean René, was born in France in 1983, he began his projects as early as 2004 with 28 Millimeters, then Face 2 Face in the Middle East, a Women Are Heroes (before Me Too and fashion, pimp, feminism too court) in Kenya and Brazil. In 2011 he won the prestigious Ted Prize, creating a global participatory art project in which people from all over the world can receive a poster of their portrait and exhibit it in a public place to support an idea or a project. Thus transforming their messages into works of art.

An image from the “Ballet” series in collaboration with the New York City Ballet

He collaborated with the New York City Ballet to tell his vision of the riots in the Clichy-Montfermeil neighborhood (where he grew up). Then in 2016, at the invitation of the Louvre, he made the pyramid disappear thanks to a surprising anamorphosis; in Rio de Janeiro, during the Olympics, he created gigantic sculptural installations throughout the city, to celebrate the beauty of the Olympic gesture. He also owns some documentaries presented in important cinema stages such as that of Cannes.

“Omelia Contadina”, a project by JR and Alice Rohrwacher

JR retrospectives were held in Tokyo, Cincinnati, Baden Baden, Hong Kong … In 2019 JR with the director Alice Rohrwacher created the project “Homily Peasant” in Venice and San Gimignano, a complaint about the loss of peasant identity and on the decline of its tradition (allegory of a funeral).

 

   

“JR mood” by Beatrice Brandini

I am very curious to see what JR will do in our city, and happy to see that art evolves with enlightening directors and curators.

Good life to everyone!

Beatrice

 

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