French street artist JR launches global project
French street artist JR invited people around the world Thursday to tell their stories in giant self-portraits plastered on any open surfaces.
The Inside Out Project was launched at a Southern California art gallery during the TED Conference, where the Digital Age art project sprang to life as a "wish" granted by member of the prestigious group.
People anywhere in the world with Internet access can take pictures of their faces with "strong" expressions and upload them to the website insideoutproject.net.
JR and his crew will convert images into large black-and-white posters and send real world copies back to people, who are supposed to plaster them somewhere for all to see.
"The rest is about action," JR said as people queued at a photo booth in the art gallery to make self-portraits printed out as posters. "It is about taking the virtual world back to the streets."
JR is known for using bleak streets in cities across the globe as frames for poignant portraits of people who live there.
He won a $100,000 TED Prize and was granted a wish -- the Inside Out Project.
Organizers of TED, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to cultivating ideas and innovation through its prestigious conferences, described the Paris artist as a "true humanitarian" whose art inspires people to look at the world differently.
"It is about making invisible people visible," JR said.
"Trust me, the power of image in a world of image is really strong... All I am doing is giving the medium to everyone."
© 2011 AFP