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JR's INSIDE OUT PROJECT Takes Over Times Square

video by Brian Gonzalez for @TSqArts

Midnight Moment May 2013 JR INSIDE OUT PROJECTINSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY photograph by Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts 

Times Square Arts, the public arts program of the Times Square Alliance, welcomes French artist JR’s global initiative INSIDE OUT PROJECT, a large-scale participatory art project he started in 2011, to Times Square from April 22 to May 10, 2013.  For INSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY, JR and his team invite New Yorkers and visitors to take self-portraits in a specially designed photo booth stationed in Times Square, the site of the world’s first ever photo booth almost 100 years ago. The black-and-white self-portraits will be overlaid on a backdrop designed by JR and printed on the spot as a 3’X4’ poster. Line up from noon - 6pm to get your photo taken and printed.   Posters are pasted until 8pm on Duffy Square in Times Square, or in the home community of the portrait’s subject. The goal of the project is to allow each portrait-taker to express through his or her face a message to the world.

The project activates Times Square as a creative hub—engaging the boroughs of New York as the photo booth truck makes early visits to the Bronx, Staten Island, Queens, and Brooklyn. The initial portraits will feature community members from New York City neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Sandy—the Staten Island waterfront, the Rockaways, Red Hook, and Coney Island.


After he was awarded the TEDPrize in March 2011, JR launched a global participatory art project—the INSIDE OUT PROJECT—inspired by his large‐format street “pastings.” The concept of the project is to give everyone and anyone the opportunity to share their portrait and a statement of what they stand for, with the world. Each black and white portrait is turned into a poster. Then, as groups gathered around a common statement, participants from all over the world paste the posters in a public space. This process transforms peoples’ identities into pieces of artistic work. INSIDE OUT PROJECT is primarily produced from a studio in NYC, where portraits are printed and shipped around the world. INSIDE OUT Photo Booths, however, bring the printers directly to the streets—enabling the public to participate instantly and for free. Nearly 70,000 portraits have been printed at INSIDE OUT PROJECT Photo Booths located around the world in such locations as Centre Pompidou (Paris), Les Rencontres de la Photographie (Arles), various towns in Israel and Palestine, Emirati Expressions (Abu Dhabi), Galerie Perrotin in Paris and Hong Kong, Vevey in Switzerland, in Tokyo and across Japan (with a Photobooth truck). Their INSIDE OUT PROJECT group actions are documented, archived and exhibited online at www.insideoutproject.net. Over 130,000 posters have been sent so far in more than 100 countries. For recent photos and updates on the project, visit insideoutproject.net/nyc  and www.facebook.com/InsideOutProject.

INSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY coincides with the world premiere of the HBO Documentary Film, INSIDE OUT: THE PEOPLE’S ART PROJECT, at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 20th. The film chronicles French artist JR, known for his public billboard size photographs of everyday citizens, and his large scale participatory global art project. “Inside Out” is a glowing testament to the power of the image and the role that art can play in transforming lives. An official Documentary Feature Spotlight selection at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, the film premiered at the SVA Theatre on West 23rd Street, on Saturday, April 20th and debut exclusively on HBO on Monday, May 20th at 9pm ET/PT.

INSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY is inviting group action—schools, neighborhood groups, organizations, and individuals from throughout the city to visit the photo booth truck in Times Square, have their portraits taken instantly, and bring the posters back to display publicly in their home communities. Community members interested in participating can contact the INSIDE OUT PROJECT team at nyc@insideoutproject.net.

Please contact nyc@insideoutproject.net for any inquiry.

INSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY day 1 2013 04 22 pasting photo by Ka-Man TseINSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY photograph by Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts

JR pasting in Times Square INSIDE OUT PROJECT photo by Ka-Man TseINSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY photograph by Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts

INSIDE OUT PROJECT duffy square INSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY photograph by Ka-Man Tse for @TSqArts

INSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY day 1 JR photo by Nadia WitteJR in Times Square; INSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY  photograph by Nadia Witte for @TSqArts

INSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY day 1 truck and duffy photo by Nadia WitteINSIDE OUT NEW YORK CITY  photograph by Nadia Witte for @TSqArts

About JR

JR exhibits freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors. In 2006, he created Portrait of a Generation, portraits of suburban “thugs” that he posted, in huge formats, in the bourgeois districts of Paris. This illegal project became “official” when the Paris City Hall wrapped its building with JR’s photos. In 2007, with Marco, he made Face 2 Face, the biggest illegal exhibition ever. JR posted huge portraits of Israelis and Palestinians face to face in eight Palestinian and Israeli cities. In 2008, he embarked on a long international trip for Women Are Heroes, in which he underlines the dignity of women who are often the targets of conflicts, and created The Wrinkles of the City. In 2010, his film Women Are Heroes was presented at Cannes. In 2011 he received the TED Prize, after which he created Inside Out, an international participatory art project that allows people worldwide to get their picture taken and paste it to support an idea and share their experience – as of March 2013, over 130,000 people from more than 100 countries have participated. As he remains anonymous and doesn’t explain his huge full-frame portraits of people making faces, JR leaves the space empty for an encounter between the subject/protagonist and the passer-by/interpreter. That is what JR's work is about, raising questions. Follow JR on Instagram (@jr) and Twitter (@jrart).

Watch Trailer Here