Street art is often perceived as vandalism. Here is one quirky example that I found in Washington, DC. Does it distract drivers? Endanger pedestrians? Or does it add a bit of much-needed flavour to our lives driven by strict rules? You decide.
His work is described as street art or conceptual art, but it could pass as contemporary photography, environmental design, or even charity advertising. JR's art is visually appealing, and at the same time easy to understand. The lack of deep, hidden meanings accessible only to an initiated minority doesn't make his messages trivial, however. Quite the opposite: His work’s simplicity conveys powerful emotions to the spectator.
One of my favourite JR projects is his unauthorized outdoor exhibition Face2Face where his intention was to break down prejudice among ordinary people on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through silliness and laughter.
He pasted giant portraits of Israelis and Palestinians from all walks of life side by side on the West Bank separation wall, asking his 'models' to make funny face expressions. They were school kids, teachers, grocers, security guards, rabbis, or sheiks, for example – and they all took their assignment to be silly very seriously. Whoever saw these portraits couldn't help but burst into laughter. Suddenly, the difference between enemy and friend did not seem that essential: They were all just hilarious faces.
The exhibition did not end the conflict, of course, but for a moment it made hatred a bit more absurd.
To learn more about J.R.: http://www.jr-art.net