Monday, September 26, 2011

Arts Watch: Selima Takes Part in Artist JR's Winning Project

Years ago, Selima discovered a fascinating write-up about the work of the once anonymous French multi-media artist JR, who used the streets of  various cities to display his series "Women are Heroes". Most of the women he photographed for the series had seen death, chaos and social destruction, and JR's method of conveying this had Selima transfixed immediately. More than an infatuation, Selima was completely blown away by the depth and magnitude of his work and has since become a fan.

Much like a graffiti artist, JR is a photographer and artist who flyposts his large scale black-and-white photographic images in public locations for everyone to encounter, stating that the street is "the largest art gallery in the world." His work takes raising societal questions to the streets as he installs his pieces outside of the art world’s institutions for the public to encounter, interpret and take part in rather than catering to the closed world of patrons of the arts, or for those seeking to discover new perspectives alone

French journalist and curator  Fabrice Bousteau refers to JR, whose work deals with commitment, freedom, identity and limits as "the one we already call the Cartier-Bresson of the 21st century," which is quite an impressive affiliation to say the least.

As Selima visits the Arles photography festival every year, she was elated to find that JR was a contestant this year who by the way, won the contest!

Selima was thrilled to take part in his project for the Arles "The Inside Out Project," a worldwide participatory project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of work and came back with this poster of her.

Below are some of the first images of JR's work that caught her attention with their impressive scale and thought provoking messages.

And below, JR's work in Manhattan just steps away from Selima Optique's Bond st. and Soho locations.

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