The Chronicles of JR at the Saatchi Gallery

The Chronicles of JR at the Saatchi Gallery
#Exhibitions

On a monumental scale, usually reserved to advertisements, the life of various communities of the world. Models, politicians and celebrities crowd the collective portraits of JR, the French artist whose photo collages rush from New York to Berlin, from Amsterdam to Paris. The Saatchi Gallery gathers his most iconic work in JR: Chronicles, the largest personal exhibition to date of the French artist who was named, in 2018, as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world. The itinerary takes visitors on a global voyage through the intimate narration of the artist, particularly appreciated by critics for his global projects that offer dialogues on important social issues, such as women’s rights, immigration and gun control. The installations are purposely placed in publics spaces near or within communities with which JR collaborated, allowing the individual portraits to become the protagonists of discussions solicited by the work of the artist. In Expo 2 Rue (2001-2004) JR documents and glues photocopies of his community of graffiti artists in action, using the streets as an open-air gallery. Portrait of a Generation (2004-2006) presents portraits of young people of Les Bosquets, a housing project in the Paris suburb of Montfermeil, the site of riots in 2005, as tensions with the police reached a climax. The work of JR is the result of his numerous voyages around the world, including in Israel and Palestine. Face 2 Face (2007) shows giant portraits of Israelis and Palestinians pasted on both sides of the wall that divides the two communities. He depicted pairs - an Israeli and a Palestinian - that lived on opposite sides of the wall, but carried out the same work. Teachers, doctors, artists, religious leaders, portrayed one next to another, without anything to give away the fact of whether they were Israeli or Palestinian. It was considered the largest non-authorised photographic work every created in Israel, covering more than eight cities, including Bethlehem, Tel Aviv, Ramallah and Jerusalem.
Samantha De Martin - © 2020 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel London