News / Arts & Entertainment

Artist J R Occupies Times Square

Artist J R Occupies Times Squarei
X
May 14, 2013 9:37 PM
From making a name as a street artist in Paris to painting Times Square, the man known as J R has been creating interest and new cityscapes of sorts. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports that this young French artist has used blow ups of portrait photos to let people in South Africa, Israel, and the Palestinian territories express, with pride, who they are. Recently, he came to Manhattan and Times Square, where he did a New York version of his now famous project.
Bernard Shusman
— From making a name as a street artist in Paris to painting Times Square, the man known as J R has been creating interest and new cityscapes of sorts. This young French artist has used blow ups of portrait photos to let people in South Africa, Israel, and the Palestinian territories express, with pride, who they are.  Recently, he came to Manhattan and Times Square, where he did a New York version of his now famous project.     

Poster-sized pictures of New Yorkers decorated the asphalt and a huge billboard in Times Square, one of the most iconic spots in the world.

It was the latest venue for J R and his project to let people - all over the world -  be recognized.

People of all ages, races and backgrounds put their stamp on the place known for its proximity to Broadway and New York's theater district.  

The project is called “Inside Out New York City.”   At a photo truck, people waited to have their photos taken.  After they were snapped, their faces were printed on huge posters.  They could either paste them on the street or take them home.
 
J R is French.  He won the prestigious TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Prize and used the $100,000 award to fund this project, creating giant portrait galleries in cities around the world and giving people the chance to express themselves on a huge canvas.

"I thought, let [s] turn this inside out. Let me let them do the photo. If they do not know how to print, I will print for them for free. They can afford, but I want them to express [themselves] with the message they want.... I love the whole interaction about it.  Because it’s not if the picture is nice or not nice, it’s about the whole process  -  people waiting, people talking with other people. The whole process is about interaction," said J R.

The City of New York offered Times Square to J R.  A billboard owner gave him the largest display case in the area. Gina Steffe, J R’s assistant, says love was all around.   

“Yesterday we had an engagement.  A man came and waited about two and a half hours in line and had a sign which said 'Sarah I love you, will you marry me.' And then he had a little check, yes, and check, no. And so he took his poster with the sign and then the poster came out, and he handed her a pen, and she started crying, then laughing, and she checked yes, and they got engaged here," said Steffe.

As one person put it, J R has become a global curator and the world is his gallery.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."