I have featured JR’s street art before here, and I’ve been a huge fan of his work ever since. His flyposts are visually pleasing, and his style of photographing and turning it into street art unique and innovative. While in my previous post I shared his works from all over the world, this time around I want to concentrate on his #UnframedProject, one of his many ongoing ones.
While he considers himself neither photographer nor street artist, many publications call him both, a “photograffeur,” as well as a street activist, as his murals bring to light a lot of social issues. His Unframed project began in 2009, in Grottaglie, Italy. Since then, he’s brought it across the globe, in the following places: Vevey, Switzerland; São Paulo, Brazil; Washington D.C., USA; Marseille, France; and most recently in Baden-Baden, Germany. Each piece he does is personal, whether done on his own or collaboratively with other photographers.
This photo JR posted is from Chernobyl, and he said he did that to “denounce the fact that the local mafia illegally buries toxic waste in the ground of that region of Southern Italy.”
Featured below, and in this video, is JR’s project in Vevey co-produced by the Images festival and the Musée de l’Élysée in Lausanne. For the first time in his career, he reimagines photographs that weren’t taken by him.
JR put up a piece on Avenida Paulista, located in front of the Museum of Arts of São Paulo (MASP). This was for the Guaranis kaiowás, or the natives from Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil. They fight against deforestation that came from the action of farmers, as well as for the conservation of their tradition.
Here in our own country’s capital, JR’s left his mark in 2012 on a building at T Street. Again, he uses someone else’s photograph, the late Ernest Wither’s photo of the “I Am A Man” demonstration, the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike. It was the last march led by Dr. Martin Luther King before his was assassinated in April 1968.
One of JR’s biggest projects to date, the collection of art in Marseille features various photos from both anonymous and famous photographers. At the neighborhood of la Belle de Mai, JR asked its residents to think about the memory of their streets by looking into their personal collections of photos. JR then used those photos on the facades to show the history and memory of la Belle de Mai according to its inhabitants.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you guys about the continuation of this project in Baden-Baden, Germany.
Stay on top of JR’s #Unframed project and other works at his website.
Thanks for reading!