Sunday, June 21, 2009


"There is nothing ugly in art except that which is without character, that is to say, that which offers no outer or inner truth"-Auguste Rodin

Character and truth are at the heart of the photographs of the French artist known as "J.R". His work is inspired by those that often have no voice. He travels to violent places and interviews people who have been the victims of rape, abuse, discrimination, and poverty. Once he has an idea of who his subjects are, he photographs them, blows up the portraits to larger-than-life size, and plasters them on walls, buildings, and landmarks around the area. In this way, J.R. has much more in common with the graffiti artists who question the way public space is used. Most recently, J.R. has traveled to Africa and Brazil to focus on the women who have suffered through civil war.
The exhibition of the photographs in public spaces has given a voice to those who would otherwise be overlooked. While a photograph in a small frame has to be sought out and examined, J.R.'s images are just the opposite. A photograph which takes up the entire facade of a building confronts every person who is walking down the street.
It would be difficult to valuate the large scale pieces. Like a lot of large scale art, not many people would have a place to hang these works. Secondly, it is unlikely that they could be removed from the buildings without being torn to shreds. Recently, there have been some small scale pieces by the artist which have sold at auction. The prices for those works can be seen below.


Title: Favela
Description: signed, titled, dated 2008 and numbered 2/3 on a label affixed to the
Medium: chromogenic print on metallic paper, mntd on aluminum
Year of Work: 2008
Size: Height 31.5 in.; Width 56.3 in.
Edition : 2/3
Sale of : Sotheby's New York: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 [Lot 00305]Contemporary Art Day Sale
Estimate: $10,000 - $12,000
Sold For: $25,000

Title:Ladj ly-Braquage
Description: signed, dated 2008 and stamped on a label affixed to the
Medium: photographic print on paper mntd on wood
Year of Work: 2008
Size: Height 27.4 in.; Width 41.5 in.
Sale of : Sotheby's London: Friday, February 06, 2009 [Lot 00173]Contemporary Art Day Sale
Estimate: 10,000 - 15,000 BP ($14,615 -$ 21,923)
Sold For: 26,250 BP ($38,220 )

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