The French street artist JR will bring his global, participatory project INSIDE OUT to New York City next week. From April 22 to May 10, a photo booth will be stationed in Times Square to allow participants to take a self portrait. The black-and-white self-portraits will then be overlaid on a backdrop designed by JR and printed on the spot as a three by four feet poster. I kind of want to see my mug in such a large format (ok, maybe not)!
According to the Times Square website, “Posters will be pasted on Duffy Square in Times Square, or in the home community of the portrait’s subject. The goal of the project is to allow each portrait-taker to express through his or her face a message to the world.” Each participant is also encouraged to include a personal statement with their poster-sized portrait.
The INSIDE OUT PROJECT team archives every photo on their website, hoping to transform peoples’ identities into pieces of artistic work. JR began the INSIDE OUT PROJECT in March 2011 after he won the TEDPrize, aiming to share the “untold stories and images of people around the world.” By giving people everywhere the chance to take a self portrait and include a public message, JR is bringing participatory art to a new level.
Thus far, JR and his team have brought photobooths to Paris, Japan, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong and Switzerland, to name a few. It’s a bit empowering and overwhelming to think that your face and message could, potentially, be shared with a world audience!
If you’re bumming because you can’t make it to Times Square, you can participate by donating to the project or by gathering at least 5 people and emailing the details to INSIDE OUT PROJECT to organize an event.
And if that wasn’t enough excitement, the world premiere of the HBO Documentary Film, INSIDE OUT: THE PEOPLE’S ART PROJECT, is scheduled for April 20 at the Tribeca Film Festival. The documentary chronicles JR’s project that creates public, billboard-sized photographs of everyday people.
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