Acclaimed artist JR predominantly works with large scale wheat pastes of black and white portraits and is infamous in the (street) art world, yet has still managed to remain anonymous. His work confronts commitment, freedom, identity and limits and has been exhibited in some of the most renowned galleries in the world including the Tate Modern in the U.K. He has also taken part in Biennales in Italy and Shanghai, not to mention occupied some of the most notorious walls in the world. In 2011 he mounted a show at the Tony Goldman mural space at the corner of Houston and Bowery in New York.
Now he has released a self-titled app that helps people explore the artist’s projects all over the world with stunning Retina-optimized photos, videos and interactive features. Content includes his TED talks in 2011 and 2012 and behind-the-scenes footage of beautiful projects performed in countries from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.
The anonymous artist has also released a digital book alongside the app titled ‘The Wrinkles of the city, Los Angeles.’ This documents his most recent work which aims to bring to light the faces of aging individuals in the city most famous for the strive for ‘perfection.’ The iBook offers behind-the-scenes features and interviews with the people he uses in the portraits. These elements offer the user further insight into his inspiration and thought processes and the chance to get a little closer to the prodigy that JR is.
Both projects, the app and the iBook, are an interesting tactic for artists, anonymous or not, to reach their fans in a completely different fashion. We may well be starting to see a shift in the way street artists document their work, allowing it to live on longer than it would normally and allowing it to reach further than we ever could imagine.