JR is a French photographer and artist whose career started in the streets when he was a young teen. His artistic career firs took form when he began creating graffiti and went by the name “Face 3.” One day, while riding the subway, JR found a camera. This event would completely change his artistic vision and ended up giving us some of the most interesting photography of the 21st century.
He began taking his photographs and turning them into massive mono prints that could be fixed to surfaces using wheat pasting. He used his magnificent skills in photography and street art to speak to his audience about social topics focused on commitment, freedom, identity, and many other social topics. The photo above was taken in Paris City Hall, where he posted a piece from his series, “Portrait of a Generation.”
JR likes to keep his life quite secretive, as he does not go by his real name and some say his identity is still unconfirmed. Still, I was able to find his real name, which is Jean René. I believe he keeps his identity out of the spotlight so his work gets the attention it deserves. JR is a true trailblazer in the realm of street art, much like Banksy, as he uses art to bring attention to social issues. He also uses the street to show his work so that is accessible to everyone. JR once said, “in the street, we reach people who never go to museums.”