NYC-ARTS visits the exhibition “JR: Chronicles” guided by Sharon Matt Atkins, Director of Exhibitions and Strategic Initiatives at the Brooklyn Museum. Born in Paris to Eastern European and Tunisian immigrant parents, JR has received acclaim for his global art projects that bring together diverse groups of participants and act as catalysts for public conversations about important social issues.

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> NEXT, WE'LL VISIT THE BROOKLYN.

[ MUSIC ] FOR A LOOK AT 'J.J. CHRONICLES.'

IT IS THE LARGE OF THE SOLO MUSEUM EXHIBITION OF THE ARTIST KNOWN UPPED THE PSEUDONYM J.R.

BORN IN PARIS TO EASTERN EUROPA AND TUNISIAN IMMIGRANT PARENTS, HE IS A T.E.D. PRIZE WINNER AND AN OSCAR-NOMINATED FILMMAKER.

HE HAS RECEIVED ACCLAIM FOR HIS GLOBAL ARTS PROJECTS THAT BRING TOGETHER DIVERSE GROUPS OF PARTICIPANTS.

THEY ACT AS CATALYSTS FOR CONVERSATIONS ABOUT IMPORTANT SOCIAL ISSUES, FROM WOMEN'S RIGHTS TO IMMIGRATION AND TO GUN CONTROL.

'J.R. CHRONICLES' FILLS THE MUSEUM'S SOARING GREAT HALL.

THE WORK ON VIEW FEATURES SOME OF THE MOST ICON INNING PROJECTS FROM THE PAST 15 YEARS.

INCLUDED HERE, PHOTOGRAPHS, DIE RAM ARKSZ, FILMS AND DOCUMENTATION OF THE ARTIST'S INSTALLATIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD.

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'J.R. CHRONICLES' IS J.R.'S LARGEST SOLO MUSEUM EXHIBITION TO DATE, AND IT REALLY FOCUSES ON HIS WORK OVER THE PAST IS A YEARS.

HE'S AN ARTIST WHO GREW UP IN PARIS, STILL LIVES IN PARIS AND NEW YORK.

J.R.'S WORK DOESN'T EASILY SORT OF FIT INTO A BOX.

IT'S AT THE INTERSECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY, SOCIAL PRACTICE, PUBLIC ART.

WE WANTED IN THIS EXHIBITION TO REALLY FOCUS ON J.R.'S COLLABORATIONS WITH COMMUNITIES AND REALLY THINKING ABOUT HOW HE GIVES VOICE TO THOSE COMMUNITIES VERY OFTEN REPRESENTING THE UNDERREPRESENTED OR MISREPRESENTED.

WE'RE STANDING IN THE CENTER OF 'THE CHRONICLES OF NEW YORK CITY.'

IT'S HIS LATEST LARGE-SCALE MURAL.

IT WAS ONE THAT HE CREATED IN THE SUMMER OF 2018 WHERE HE TRAVELED TO ALL FIVE BOROUGHS OF NEW YORK CITY AND PHOTOGRAPHED 1,128 NEW YORKERS.

HE REALLY WANTED TO CAPTURE A SORT OF PORTRAIT OF NEW YORK CITY.

THIS IS PART OF A NUMBER OF LARGE-SCALE MURALS THAT HE'S DONE THAT HAVE BEEN INSPIRED BY DIEGO RIVERA.

HE CAPTURED SUCH A WIDE RANGE OF PEOPLE THROUGHOUT NEW YORK CITY, FROM BATHERS IN CONEY ISLAND TO NYPD OFFICER, FESTERS AND, YOU KNOW, FAMILY MEMBERS, AND IT REALLY IS JUST A WONDERFUL SORT OF COLLECTIVE PORTRAIT OF NEW YORK CITY.

IN CREATING 'THE CHRONICLES OF NEW YORK CITY' J.R. WAS REAL RETHINKING ABOUT HOW THIS CAPTURES A MOMENT BUT ALSO HOW ABOUT HOW ALL OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE INVOLVED IN THIS MURAL WILL BE REMEMBERED 10, 20, 50 YEARS LATER WHEN PEOPLE LOOK BACK AT THIS WORK.

HE NOT ONLY TOOK THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED BUT ALSO CAPTURED THEIR AUDIO STORIES, AND THOSE AUDIO STORIES ARE ALL AVAILABLE VIA AN APP AND VIA iPADS THAT WE HAVE ON DISPLAY IN THE GALLERY.

WE WERE REALLY EXCITED TO BE ABLE TO INCLUDE AS PART OF THE EXHIBITION SOME OF THE EARLIEST WORK THAT J.R. CREATED WHEN HE WAS REALLY JUST A TEENAGER, PHOTOGRAPHING HIS FELLOW GRAFFITI WRITERS AROUND PARIS AFTER HE HAD FOUND A CAMERA ON THE PARIS METRO IN 2000 AND SO WE INCLUDE A LOT OF THOSE PHOTOGRAPHS, MANY SO OF THE PHOTOCOPIES THAT HE THEN TOOK AND WHEAT PASTED AROUND CREATING HIS OWN SIDEWALK GALLONRIES OR THE EXPO 2 RUE.

WE ALSO WANTED TO SHOW A BIT OF J.R.'S PROCESS, HOW YOU GET FROM THE STEP OF THE PHOTOGRAPH TO THEN SEEING THESE LARGE-SCALE IMAGES ON THE SIDES OF BUILDINGS, YOU KNOW, AROUND THE WORLD.

WE INCLUDED A NUMBER OF THE CONTACT SHEETS THAT HE'S CREATED FOR A NUMBER OF THE SERIES THAT IS ARE INCLUDED IN THE EXHIBITION, AND MANY OF THOSE HAVE NOT BEEN SEEN BEFORE.

WE HAVE A SECTION IN THE EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO 'INSIDE OUT' WHICH IS A PROJECT THAT J.R. LAUNCHED IN 2011 AFTER HE WON THE T.E.D. PRIZE, AND THIS IS A RELATIVELY SIMPLE CONCEPT THAT ALLOWS PEOPLE TO TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS OF PEOPLE WITHIN THEIR COMMUNITIES.

THEY SEND THE FILES TO J.R.'S STUDIO.

THEY PRESENT HIM OUT AND SEND POSTERS BACK THAT ARE THEN WHOLE PASTE PEDESTRIAN ON PLAZAS, ON BUILDINGS IN THOSE COMMUNITIES, AND IT'S REALLY A WAY FOR PEOPLE TO THINK ABOUT HOW ART CAN CHANGE THEIR COMMUNITIES AND SINCE THAT PROJECT WAS LAUNCHED IN 2011 THERE'S BEEN INSIDE-OUT ACTIONS IN 141 COUNTRIES, AND NEARLY 400,000 PEOPLE HAVE TAKEN PART IN THAT PROJECT.

ONE OF THE REASONS THAT WE FELT IT WAS REALLY THE RIGHT MOMENT TO WORK WITH J.R. AND TO DO THIS MAJOR EXHIBITION, IT'S ALSO THE LARGEST SOLO EXHIBITION THAT WE'VE HAD IN THIS GREAT HALL, IS THAT HE FOCUSES ON A LOT OF ISSUES THAT ARE VERY PRESSING, FROM IMMIGRATION TO GUN CONTROL, AND IT'S VERY MUCH AT THE CENTER OF WHAT WE DO AT THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM AND THINKING ABOUT HOW TO CONNECT ART TO THE ISSUES THAT ARE MOST CONCERNING TO PEOPLE TODAY.

IN 2008 J.R. STARTED THE 'WOMEN ARE HEROES' SERIES WHEN HE TRAVELED TO RIO de JANIERO.

HE WENT THERE BECAUSE HE HAD READ AN ARTICLE ABOUT THESE YOUNG MEN WHO WERE MURDERED.

HE WAS THERE FOR NEARLY A MONTH MEETING WITH THE PEOPLE OF ONE OF THE OLDEST FAVELAS IN RIO AND WORKED WITH THOSE WOMEN, MANY OF THEM WHO WERE RELATED TO THE YOUNG MEN WHO HAD BEEN MURDERED, AND CAME UP THIS IDEA OF REAL EL CELEBRATING THEIR IMAGE.

VERY OFTEN THE WOMEN ARE NOT SEEN OR NOT HEARD IN THESE COMMUNITIES AND SO THEY CAME UP WITH THIS IDEA OF PUTTING PARTS OF THEIR FACES ON THE SIDES OF THE BUILDINGS.

SO IN THE FAVELA, THEY ARE LITERALLY SORT OF LOOKING DOWN AND BEING SEEN THROUGH THE REST OF RIO, BUT I THINK ONE OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT THESE PROJECTS THAT J.R.

DOES IS THAT AS SOON AS THE PROJECT'S COMPLETE, J.R. LEAVES, AND SO WHEN THE NEWS MEDIA SHOWS UP, IT'S THE PEOPLE WHO PARTICIPATED, HIS COLLABORATORS, WHO ARE THE ONES WHO END UP SPEAKING FOR THE PROJECT.

OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS AS J.R. HAS BEEN WORKING WITH VARIOUS COMMUNITIES, IT'S BEEN REALLY IMPORTANT TO HIM TO CONTINUE TO GIVE BACK TO THOSE COMMUNITIES.

AND SO, FOR EXAMPLE, WITH THE 'WOMEN ARE HEROES' PROJECT IN RIO, HE ENDED UP ESTABLISHING A SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS TO TAKE ART CLASSES, CASA AMARELA, THAT JUST CELEBRATED ITS TENTH ANNIVERSARY, AND IT'S REALLY A WAY FOR HIM TO CONTINUE TO GIVE BACK TO THOSE COMMUNITIES.

WE'VE ONLY TALKED ABOUT A FEW OF THE WORKS THAT ARE ON DISPLAY IN THE EXHIBITION, SO I WELCOME EVERYONE TO COME TO THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM TO SEE 'J.R. CHRONICLES.'