By: Amanda Froelich/The Mind Unleashed French street artist JR is but one of many who opposes the US-Mexico border wall and made his distaste for the division evident with a recent art installation. Along the latest piece of the border wall, JR and his team erected an enormous wood support for one of his signature posters, which features a young child peering over the wall.
As MyModernMet reports, the project was a collaborative effort between JR and curator Pedro Alonzo (known to have worked with OS Gemeos, Shepherd Fairey, and Banksy). The human face seeks to evoke emotion in those who support the construction of a border wall between the neighboring countries. It also makes a statement about President Trump’s recent decision to rescind DACA, which protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to America as children.
Regardless of the piece JR produces, it nearly always features faces. His work on the separation wall between Israel and Palestine, for instance, resulted in him posting Palestinian portraits on the Israeli side and Israeli portrait on the Palestinian side. By doing this, he proved people couldn’t distinguish one from the other.
In 2015, JR revealed what life was like for immigrants entering the United States in the 19th Century with the Ellis Island street art project. And in 2005, he gained international attention for his wheat pasted photos of rioters in the Les Bosquets suburb of Paris. The recurring theme in his work is to encourage people to view each other without prejudice — and that is applaudable.
With his latest project, JR proves he’s not averse to tackling tough topics. Perhaps by showing a curious child peeking into the United States, he hopes to start a dialogue about what it means to immigrate to a new country.
Said JR in an exclusive interview: “I think there is no such thing as art trying to change the world. But being an artist and creating art in tons of different contexts, no matter what the mood is and sometimes against the codes that stand around you, is a way of breaking society and changing the world—just by trying.”
Curator Pedro Alonzo and JR will be holding an open discussion on the street artist’s latest work and how immigration plays a role in his work on September 7, 2017, at 8 pm at Los Angles at Blum & Poe.