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Artist 206

JR Infiltration Photography JR art is rebellious photography with an artist known purely as JR with an unconfirmed identity taking extreme risks to share his photographic perspective. The contemporary artist is recognized for his stunning portraits and street art. JR ( born 1983) is the pseudonym of a French photographer and street artist whose identity is unconfirmed. He describes himself as a photograffeur, he flyposts large black-and-white photographic images in public locations, in a manner similar to the appropriation of the built environment by the graffiti artist.

He states that the street is "the largest art gallery in the world." He started out on the streets of Paris. JR's work "often challenges widely held preconceptions and the reductive images propagated by advertising and the media." From his website he has termed his creation as "Infiltrating art". During his collage activities, the local communities take part in the act of artistic creation, with no stage separating actors from spectators. The anonymity of JR and the absence of any explanation accompanying his huge portraits leave him with a free space in which issues and actors, performers and passers-by meet, forming the essence of his work.

He began his career as a teenage graffiti artist who was by his own admission not interested in changing the world, but in making his mark on public space and society. His graffiti efforts often targeted precarious places like rooftops and subway trains, and he enjoyed the adventure of going to and painting in these spaces. After finding a camera in the Paris Metro, JR and his friends began to document the act of his graffiti painting. At the age of 17, he began applying photocopies of these photographs to outdoor walls, creating illegal 'sidewalk gallery exhibitions'

JR calls himself an "urban artivist", he creates pervasive art that he puts up on the buildings and different public locations that deal with global issues and place faces to issues from the Paris area projects, on the walls of the Middle East, on the broken bridges of Africa to the favelas of Brazil. During the pasting phase, community members take part in the artistic process. In Brazil, for example, children became artists for a week. In these artistic acts, no scene separates the actors from the spectators. JR tackles bringing back the humanity to issues for example he put up enormous photos of Israelis and Palestinians face to face in eight Palestinian and Israeli cities on either side of the Separation Barrier.

For JR the artistic act is first and foremost a human project: "The heroes of the project are all those who, on both sides of the wall, allowed me to paste the portraits on their houses." His projects have varied with themes from the displaced youth, women’s struggles, immigration to convicts and their stories. JR is known for his works using a humanistic approach to portray social realities and the people behind terms.

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