Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Portrait of a generation

I recently came across the work of a French Photographer, known as JR. He produces large scale black and white portraits of people living in a specific community and then plasters them across the walls of various cities and towns. He's done several major projects in places such as Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Brazil and Paris. I think he aims to take photos of people who would never otherwise be seen or heard and by putting up posters of them he gives the simple message that "they exist" and shouldn't be forgotten - for example one of his projects looks at the violence suffered by women in Kenya, Sudan, Sierra-Leone, Liberia and Rio de Janeiro.  I find it interesting anyway and think his artwork is pretty powerful. It makes me wonder how much art can be used to effectively look at social issues and raise genuine concern in others. I'm constantly debating how much photography and art can actually be used for good and my viewpoint changes daily. Looking at the work of JR does make me appreciate how powerful a photo can be though and reminds me how much i love people and life itself. I guess what's matters though isn't whether you can look at a picture and say it's a good "photo", but whether you can look at it and appreciate the subject - what it actually captures, the life underneath it all, the person and the One who made that person - and whether you let that stir you into action somehow.


Hannah said...

I think this photo that I took may be his work?


Becky said...

Oh yeah, maybe, it does look like it. I've never seen that photo of yours before - i like it. I didn't know that he had done anything in London though, although i guess it's quite likely as he seems to have done projects in a lot of major Cities.