Based around a telephone conversation, JR talks us through his career as an artist in a powerful and compelling manner. He started his artistic journey on the streets of Paris, photographing gangs and the general public, then pasting up the prints of the portraits all over Parisian streets and walls.
In 2007, JR traveled to document Israelis and Palestinians, again by taking portraits of people in their everyday life, such as taxi drivers, from their respective places and put up huge images of people from the two places face to face in several cities either side of the border. It's interesting and very inspiring to see that so many people were happy to help erect the portraits, even wanting their pictures on the front door of their houses. JR also used the foreboding wall that separates the Palestinians from the Israelis as a canvas for his works. On returning to Paris he used these same images, pasting up the detailed portraits in the capital.
JR then progresses to talk about the decision to focus on women and why he wanted to use the female portraits in various cities around the world.
His thick French accent may be hard to understand at times, but I definitely advise anyone to stick watching this to the end, as it is such a powerful video. Collating footage from over the years, it shows JR progressing as an artist, as well as the tools he uses for his works, with many pictures of his famous pieces.
It was interesting to hear the variance in materials he uses for his works in different places. For example, it was previously unknown to myself that in Kenya he used vinyl for the rooftops to protect the houses from the rain.
An incredible individual worthy of the TED Prize. Check out the video below.