JR is a young French photographer who has become a hero to many people who encounter his work. He doesn’t use his real name, because most of the work he does is illegal. JR makes provocative black-and-white photos, and enlarges them into very large billboard size prints. Then, with a friend or two, under cover of the night, he illegally pastes these photos onto large walls in very public urban spaces. His illegal work has been celebrated by several outlets of mainstream media, and he has been granted official, authorized exhibitions of his photographs in prominent places in Paris and Amsterdam in recent years.
This summer, JR was invited to show his work at the international photo festival in Arles, France, where he covered the walls of a large roofless warehouse with his images to the amazement and delight of thousands of photography lovers.