JR – French photographer and street artist – won the Ted Prize 2011. Everything started between 2004 and 2006, when he started living in “Vie di Cité des Bosquets”, in the suburb of Paris in Clichy-Montfermeil to create the “Portrait of a Generation”, of ‘hooligans’ affixed in the areas of the bourgeoisie of Paris. This generation found an original way to shout its malaise, living in the borders of the city. This illegal project was made official by the City Hall that wrapped its building with these portraits.
JR, the photograffeur, is a star now. He was born in 1983, he is unknown and he describes himself as photograffeur, but he is actually a famous artist, he already did some exhibitions in the most famous galleries around the world. His inspirations are normal people that become famous with a photo; portraits of thousands of different people, places, roads, villages, and towns. They become the expression of social discomfort, sorrow due to war and immigration, desperate alienation, simple daily life. These B&W faces even express love and dreams of happiness we all have inside.
In 2014, 10 years after his “Portrait d’une Génération”, the project became the main theme of “Les Bosquets”, an unreleased ballet realized thanks to the collaboration of New York City Ballet and the artist himself – scene director, concept author, Woodkid is the French music composer. Besides the extraordinary ballet dancer Lauren Lovette and the fearless American street dancer Lil Buck, forty dancers transformed the opera in a danced story set in the suburbs of Paris, fascinating and dramatic. Since the debut in New York, a year has gone by, and the film is being presented to the Tribeca Film Fest from April 15 to 26. This short film is 17 minutes long, it will tour around galleries and international museums. JR is the main protagonist.
Translation provided by Mary Ann D’Costa