Major JR London Exhibitions this June
Sometimes we look at JR, the French street artist, a bit like we look at Damien Hirst: eccentric personality and intriguing art pieces. JR’s official website refers to the artist as a true believer and follower of street art values at heart: accessible, with no home and for all.
“He exhibits his work free of charge on the walls of the whole world – attracting the attention of those who do not usually go to museums.”
His artistic recognition has been admirable so far: in 2011, he won the TED Prize where he worked on an international participatory art project, INSIDE OUT, where messages of personal identity were turned into public art around the world; in 2014, JR worked on two short films, one of them produced with Robert de Niro; and more recently, in 2016 he did a project with Louvre where the famous glass pyramid disappear which became viral event across social media. Despite claiming to be an artist from the streets, he has been working with a number of recognisable institutions.
Regardless of his approach around artmaking, his skill set as an artist is astonishing. He demonstrates to be critically aware of his surroundings. His works frequently explore discourses around social issues through immersive storytelling.
We do not doubt that JR has proved his artistry to the world. If you still are not convinced, these two outstanding exhibitions might be for you.
04 JUNE - 03 OCTOBER 2021
Saatchi describes this JR exhibition as “the largest solo museum exhibition to date” that will showcase works from his fifteen-year long career. This exhibition will highlight his storytelling capabilities and guide the viewer through all the stages of his artistic journey.
In the first section, you will encounter the artist’s earliest works that focus on “his commitment to community”. One of these works is Portrait of a Generation (2004-6), where JR took over the open walls of a “ghetto” suburb in Paris. JR wanted to expose the media representation of these marginalised social groups. He grabbed his 28 mm lens and started photographing these “bad boys”. These photographs were then printed on a large scale and illegally displayed across the neighbourhood. Portrait of a Generation (2004-6) was a significant work that set the stage in JR’s career as it demonstrated the power of his voice as an artist to the world.
In this exhibition, you will be able to explore in more depth some of his most admired artworks around multiple social issues. For example, there is Face 2 Face (2007), where he highlighted the conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians or Women Are Heroes (2008-9), where the faces of local women who face violence every day were pasted across the houses of impoverished neighbourhoods in various countries such as Brazil andIndia .
“JR: Chronicles” expands the artist values and vision towards community and demonstrates his journey towards shaping “public art through participatory projects that give visibility and agency to a broad spectrum of people”.
JR: EYE TO THE WORLD
04 JUNE – 03 JULY 2021
In parallel with Saatchi’s exhibition, Pace Gallery is showcasing another JR’s exhibition that will also be participating in the London Weekend Gallery (4th-6th of June).
Although the two exhibitions will showcase the same artist, you can expect a very different touch and feel between the two. While Saatchi’s exhibition provides you with a more in-depth look at JR’s artistic journey, “JR: Eye to the World” at Pace Gallery is more of a photographic archive portraying the process of several artworks.
This exhibition will be widely focused on JR’s travels, and you will have the opportunity to dive into his ongoing project: The Wrinkles of the City. This participatory project celebrates ageing and the beauty that comes with it. With candid photographs of older individuals, JR wants you to see history in each wrinkle and value the knowledge attached to it. This project started early in 2008 in Murcia, Spain. Since then, it has featured locals from other cities such as Shanghai or Los Angeles.
Both these exhibitions are a not-to-miss event in London in the next month. To attend both these exhibitions, make sure you book your tickets ahead of time! Click here to book for Saatchi’s and here for Pace’s exhibition.
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