JR's work takes over Times Square at 11:57 pm (Photo: JR)
Visitors to New York City's Times Square are usually confronted with wall-to-wall, large-scale advertisements. But if you head there in the next few days, you can see a very different type of imagery: awesome photographs of real people.
It's all part of a large-scale, worldwide art project. Back in 2011, street artist JR won the TED Prize, and spoke about his one big wish for the world. Here's what he said:
"I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project, and together we'll turn the world... INSIDE OUT."
That art project has taken him around the world, where he's photographed thousands of people, blown up those images, and put them in public spaces. As the TED site puts it, JR "uses his camera to show the world its true face."
Now the project is taking over Times Square for INSIDE OUT New York City, which runs until May 10th.
New Yorkers and visitors alike can get their picture taken by JR and his team in a photo booth truck stationed in the Square, which he says was home to the world's first photo booth over 100 years ago.
Once the shot's done, it's printed and pasted on Duffy Square in Times Square, like so:
Some of the photobooth prints on Duffy Square (Photo: JR)
New Yorkers can also ask to have their portrait pasted up in their home community.
On his website, JR says he wants to "activate Times Square as a creative hub," and engage New York's boroughs, as the photo truck visits the Bronx, Staten Island, Queens, and Brooklyn.
The first portraits JR and his team posted in the Square are of community members from those places hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy: the Staten Island waterfront, the Rockaways, Red Hook, and Coney Island.
JR and his team in Times Square (Photo: JR)
He's also taking over some of the video screens that surround the square for a few minutes each day. Until May 10th, from 11:57 to midnight a video art project based on the INSIDE OUT project plays on the big screens. (Something similar was done in April to celebrate Nelson Mandela).
This is far from the first time JR has turned walls and sidewalks into a canvas for his artwork. The INSIDE OUT project has taken him around the world from Haiti to Tunisia to the Arctic to the streets of Paris.
HBO has a documentary about the project, which airs Monday, May 20th at 9pm ET. It's called 'INSIDE OUT: The People's Art Project'.
Directed by Alistair Siddons, the film follows the artist around the world, capturing both the grand scale of JR's imagery and the intimacy of his explorations of individuals through the camera lens.
To find out more about the INSIDE OUT project, and what JR has tried to accomplish with his work, check out this profile from The New Yorker.
Here are a few more examples of JR's awesome INSIDE OUT artwork:
INSIDE OUT Whanganui; Whanganui, New Zealand (Photo: JR)
INSIDE OUT Save the Arctic; North Pole (Photo: JR)
INSIDE OUT Caracas; Caracas, Venezuela (Photo: JR)