School’s out Friday

The TED Conference is being held right now in Long Beach California. This year’s TED Prize winner is JR, an artist from France, whose incredible artwork has been seen in the slums of Kenya, in Brazil, in India and even in Israel and Palestine. Here’s what they say about JR on the TED site;

Working anonymously, pasting his giant images on buildings, trains, bridges, the often-guerrilla artist JR forces us to see each other. Traveling to distant, often dangerous places — the slums of Kenya, the favelas of Brazil — he infiltrates communities, befriending inhabitants and recruiting them as models and collaborators. He gets in his subjects’ faces with a 28mm wide-angle lens, resulting in portraits that are unguarded, funny, soulful, real, that capture the sprits of individuals who normally go unseen. The blown-up images pasted on urban surfaces – the sides of buildings, bridges, trains, buses, on rooftops — confront and engage audiences where they least expect it. Images of Parisian thugs are pasted up in bourgeois neighborhoods; photos of Israelis and Palestinians are posted together on both sides of the walls that separate them.

JR has been awarded the prestigious TED Prize. His wish? To use art to turn the world inside out.

His work has such appeal he just might be able to inspire people to run with this idea. Imagine if our schools connected, and we worked cooperatively to make an impact on issues our world faces using art as our impetus.He has started Inside Out: a global art project. I think it will be amazing.

“INSIDE OUT is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Everyone is challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world. These digitally uploaded images will be made into posters and sent back to the project’s co-creators for them to exhibit in their own communities. People can participate as an individual or in a group; posters can be placed anywhere, from a solitary image in an office window to a wall of portraits on an abandoned building or a full stadium. These exhibitions will be documented, archived and viewable virtually.”

There’s something in that, and considering the art faculty of our school were thinking of including the work of JR in the curriculum, maybe this is something we need to discuss next week!

Enjoy your weekend. Spend some time on the TED site and get inspired. : )

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