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Being raised in ‘Les Bosquets’, the ‘ghetto’ of Clichy-Montfermeil, one of the typical banlieus
in metropolitan Paris, JR started as a notorious street artist and sprayer. He turned into a
transformative researcher using art and artistic thinking, doing transformative research in
2004, when he started the ’Portrait of a Generation’. He photographed its young inhabitants
and pasted enlarged photocopies to the walls.

JR is eager both to enlarge situations of groups and communities all over the world, and the
experiential street wisdom which you will find unexpectedly in prisons, slums, in the elderly
and in kids, in border-like segregation (Jews and Palestine people – migrants and security
policy at the Mexican border).

‘Enlarging’ for JR is meant in the original sense of the word. After photographing and
recording stories of individuals and groups, his main act is to paste giant pictures of
individuals on city walls, containers, water reservoirs, border walls – you name it.
JR´s unique artistic process creates more than temporary art: his innovative way of doing
street-art all over the globe (‘I have the largest gallery in the world’) with different vulnerable
groups (elderly, women, kids, prison inmates, slum inhabitants) also works as a
transformative community building process. Street Art and community building in JR´s sense
emerge to a transformative process, researching scenarios of conflict and strength in local
and global communities.

Out of many single projects, the ‘Inside Out’ project emerged to integrate community
members all over the globe into a piece of common art, which JR has called ‘Infiltrating art’.
During his collage activities, the local communities take part in the act of artistic creation,
with no stage separating actors from spectators. Now, artistic creation and community
building based on ‘Inside Out’ occur in close to 2500 community projects in 148 countries.

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