Saatchi Gallery would like to thank all of the exhibition contributors, alongside our Gallery Patrons.
Art Explora is a non-profit organisation with the international ambition to make art accessible to everyone by broadcasting digital content and engaging in innovative projects. The platform aims to share culture with everyone, breaking down the walls that separate individuals and communities from one another. It has recently launched its European Award in collaboration with l'Académie des beaux-arts (Academy of Fine Arts), set out to bolster development projects that promote the diffusion of art and culture to wider and more diverse audiences. https://artexplora.org/en/art-explora-supports/
Saatchi Gallery chose to partner with Brooklyn Museum given their shared aim to provide wider access to contemporary art and support social engagement. JR: Chronicles marks the first solo-exhibition of JR in the UK and expands on the successful presentation of this exhibition at Brooklyn Museum by including new artworks and video content from JR’s most recent projects.
The Chronicles of New York City was really the largest section and centrepiece of the exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. For [the presentation at] Saatchi Gallery, we've tried to expand some sections and add works related to more recent projects. JR is so prolific and even while we were installing the show he was working on new projects- one weekend he flew to Tehachapi, California to do a project at a maximum-security prison.
"JR is internationally recognized for his collaborative public projects that engage deeply with communities and we were honoured to present his largest solo museum show to date at the Brooklyn Museum. We're so happy to be working with Saatchi Gallery, and for the opportunity to share the exhibition with new audiences." – Anne Pasternak, Shelby White and Leon Levy Director, Brooklyn Museum
“One of the most powerful storytellers of our time, JR has initiated collaborative projects around the world, allowing participants to choose how they would like to be represented in both their communities and the global media. We are pleased to share our exhibition with London audiences, and to also have the opportunity to incorporate new work created since the Brooklyn Museum presentation.” – Sharon Matt Atkins, Director of Exhibitions and Strategic Initiatives, Brooklyn Museum
Born in Paris in 1983 to Eastern European and Tunisian immigrant parents, JR began his career as a graffiti artist. After finding a camera in the Paris Metro in 2001, he began documenting his friends in the act of graffitiing and soon started pasting the photographs on building facades throughout urban centres.
JR was awarded the TED Prize in 2011, which inspired Inside Out: The People's Art Project, an international participatory art project that encourages people worldwide to have their picture taken and pasted in public spaces in an effort to share stories, experiences, and beliefs. In 2013, his film based on Inside Out premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. The project also inspired JR's installation covering the dome, cupola, and floor of the Pantheon, in Paris in 2014. Inside Out has continued to grow with mobile photo studios operating in the streets of New York, Amsterdam, London and Paris. As of July 2019, over 400,000 people from more than 141 countries had participated.
JR received his first solo museum exhibitions in 2013 at the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, followed by presentations at Museum Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden, in 2014 and the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Foundation, in 2015. Commissioned by the Louvre in 2016, a photo-installation created by JR camouflaged the museum's famous I.M. Pei-designed pyramid with a precise scan of the Pavillon Sully, which is located behind it. Also in 2016, the artist worked with the Rio de Janeiro Olympics to cover the streets with large-scale photo- installations of athletes in motion; the Centre Pompidou, Paris, to create an exhibition and workshop to help children discover photography; and the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, where he collaborated with the Brazilian artist duo OSGEMEOS on the Lasco Project, a permanent installation on display in the underground chambers of the museum. In 2018, JR received his first Oscar nomination after partnering with pioneering filmmaker Agnès Varda to create the documentary Faces Places. JR's first major museum exhibition, MOMENTUM. la mécanique de l'épreuve, took place at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, in 2018. In February 2019, JR returned to the Louvre for another project, this time to "reveal" the pyramid on the occasion of its 30th anniversary. In May 2019, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art unveiled The Chronicles of San Francisco, an animated mural, made of a large LED screen, that features more than 1,200 people from around the city.