Jean the masks that constitute cities. Eventually his

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Rene, most popularly known as JR, is a French photographer and artist who uses “the largest art
gallery in the world” (public streets) to display most of his motivating and
awakening works of art. JR started out on the streets of Paris before broadening
his works to other parts of the world. ‘The street
provides me with the support, the wall, the atmosphere, but especially the
people. Depending on where I put the photo, the whole thing changes,’
JR says. JR’s work
“often challenges widely held preconceptions and the reductive images
propagated by advertising and the media” (Tate 2017). His work provides
insight while unifying art and action, and dances through the world of
commitment, freedom, identity and limits.

Born in France February 22, 1983 JR
was just 15 years old with a passion for
graffiti, using the city as a canvas, he was going in the tunnels of Paris and
on the rooftops. As he says “It was like leaving our mark on society, to
say, “I was here,” on the top of a building” (TED, 2011). JR’s
perception on street art changed the day he found a camera on the Paris Metro. From
that day he and his
friends started to document the act of his graffiti paintings. Around the age
of 17, JR began to display photocopies of those photographs on public walls.

Later in his career JR travelled through Europe to capture insight and converge
with different people whose medium of artistic expression involved the use of
public walls. With this he started to ponder about vertical boundaries, the
public streets and the masks that constitute cities. Eventually his work led
him to owning the largest art gallery in the world.

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            One of JR’s most recent and popular works
was installed in the Mexican city of Tecate, an hour southeast of San Diego.

Pasted just behind the border fence with California was a photograph of a toddler,
Kikito. Looking from the American side, the toddler appears to be gazing over
the slatted barrier as if from the inside of a crib, fixing to crawl toward
something that’s grabbed his attention. The artwork was revealed the week
President Trump said he would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
program, known as DACA; a program that has allowed young immigrants who were
brought to America illegally as children to remain in the United States.  However, JR claimed that he did not aim for the project in Tecate to correspond
with the news about the DACA program.

            In my project I would like to
portray JR’s spirit by creating a piece of artwork that shows her values in
terms of longing, hoping, and belief. To do this, I would like to create a
digital image with multiple layers of photos. The background of the photo will
be brick, to represent the power, resistance, and motionlessness of the
optimism and hope felt by many immigrants across the world that wish to cross
into American territory. To find a public building or space that utilizes
bricks and transport to take photographs will take me about 4 hours. The next
step would be to past another image on top of the bricks and it will be a few
different continents color-coded, the purple to represent the North America,
orange for South America, and green for Africa. This step will not take much
time; using the Photoshop program to color code the continents will take about
15 minutes. The motive for the use of purple for North America is because the
color denotes peace and ambition, which most immigrants migrate to North
America to find solitude. The purpose for the use of orange for South America
is that the color orange marries the
energy of red and the cheerfulness of yellow. The color, orange, is connected
with joy and determination, similar to the happiness of immigrants who have
sought freedom, or the immigrants who are committed to seeking peace. Finally I
will take a picture of a friend of mine who is American and another friend who
is Puerto Rican and put their picture behind a window and have it look like my
American friend is holding the “American Dream” and wants to share it with my
Puerto Rican friend. This final part take about a day to do, to bring my two
friends together and get the picture just right, edit the photo, and bring into
the Photoshop program for further editing of the whole image. This piece of the
image will be the most evident part of the image, it’s the central focus, and
it will symbolize the division that is occurring now between the United States
and other parts of the world. Our president is trying to divide rather than
unite the United States with other countries. In a White House meeting last
week Trump had asked why the United
States would accept immigrants from “shithole countries” in Africa and the
Caribbean, rather than people from places like Norway, according to the LA
Times. Another instance of disunion occurred when Trump called for a “total and
complete shutdown of Muslims from certain countries entering the United States”
at a South Carolina rally. The social angle that will be represented is race
and ethnicity by adding the two races, American and Hispanic. Whether we choose
to see, accept or do something about discrimination, prejudice, and racism or
not, people of different races and ethnicities are still treated less than
compared to others. Many people, since Trump’s presidency have come out proudly
and publicly about racism and attacking certain people, such as people with
disabilities, Muslims, African Americans, etc. America
is considered a melting pot due to its manifold of races and cultures, nevertheless
some individuals still do not acknowledge the fact that every human should be
treated with complete equality and allowed to enter a country generously and
feel safe and happy.

Categories: Paintings


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