JR wins the TED prize


I just opened the paper today and read about the photographer JR, whose work I wrote about here back in 2008. I think the way he distributes his work and the way he works with the communites he is photographing is an inspiration and I hope that methods such as these become the norm, rather than the exception. As I write this I am sitting in a gallery with white walls and spotlit photographs and fine though that is, the interaction with the public who come and see the work, either deliberately or in passing, is not as loose and free as it is on the street.

I'm a big fan of street situated and public art, especially when it is rooted in a desire to connect and share. JR's work may seem like a gimmick, but exploring it I think he has some good intentions and seeing it makes me wonder and think, which is always a good sign in my book.

For those of you who are looking at the $100 000 JR received - a lot of which will hopefully be used by him in a worthwhile way - and thinking, (like me) "Damn, how can I get my hands on money like that for the things I want to do?" maybe you should stop scanning award submission guidelines and concentrate on producing some innovative and well thought out methods of working instead. As JR states to the NY Times:

“I’m kind of stunned,” he said of the prize. “I’ve never applied for an award in my life and didn’t know that somebody had nominated me for this.”

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