I am currently looking at artists who work with Identity. One of my favourite artists in the field is JR.
JR is a young, unidentified French artist, he works with identity and freedom issues, and he calls himself a photograffeur. JR combines his art with his dreams. He has spent the last ten years on a journey around the planet trying to erase the limits that society chains us with, and promoting freedom for individuals. His work is magnificent, not just because it is large, but because of all that it does. In my book he is the ultimate identity artist, he has woken people up to the fact that they are individuals with free will, and they don’t have to make judgements about their fellow men based on government propaganda. JR pasted two ginormous posters of taxi drivers in a market place in Israel. One was an Israeli and the other Palestinian. The people who crowded around him were stunned when he showed them that these were just two guys, doing the same job, living their lives as individuals. Not the pawns of some government chess game.
Another project JR created which took him to many countries was entitled Women are Heroes. One of my favourite installations was in Africa, where he attached vinyl prints of his photographs onto the roofs of houses in a slum in Kenya. They people loved it, the vinyl kept the rain out! As you can see in the photo below, the eyes of the women looked up to the heavens, as the heavens look back. This was an added bonus to the original idea, but how wonderful is that!
This second image is from the same Women are Heroes project but this photograph was pasted in Cambodia.
I am inspired by JR because he makes things happen, and he is a world ambassador for peace. Watching his movies, or his TED talk are gateways to the sublime.
Images retrieved on 17the March 2014, from JR’s own website