An undercover photographer, JR transforms his photos into posters and our streets into open-space galleries. An acute observer of our time, he is as comfortable in cozy neighbourhoods as in urban ghettos. By entering public space, he challenges pedestrians in their everyday routines exhibitions through his exhibitions.
Using a camera he found on the subway, JR finds inspiration in informal encounters, his travels and his intuitions. Since 2001, he has been pointing his camera toward writing, breakdancing and freestyling communities, and worked with popular actors and musicians such as Vincent Cassel, IAM and the Gotan Project. Beginning in 2004, he has been working on his extensive 28 millimeters project. The first part, A Portrait of a Generation, garnered him attention on the front page of The New York Times. The large size pictures of the youth from Montfermeil and Clichy-sous-Bois have been displayed at the European Center for Photography and in front of Paris' Hotel de Ville. As his pictures began to sell at the Hotel Drouot in Paris, he continued to plan similar unauthorized exhibitions for Rome or Wuppertal, Germany. He is currently working on the second and third phases for the Middle East and Brazil.
The 3rd stage of the 28 millimeters project, Women Are Heroes, has already led him to post-conflict areas in Africa. There, he looks to photograph women whose painful stories he wants to share with the world as a testimony to their desire to live. Their portraits were already posted in Sierra-leone, Kenya and in Liberia.
In 2010, one picture from his "Women are Hereos" series won a World Press Photo for arts and entertainment. The same year, he won the TED Prize.