A few weeks ago I posted a video on the GTSF homepage of JR’s acceptance speech for a $100K grant from TED. In this talk he unveiled his Insideout project, a massive collaborative photography project that invites people from all over the world to submit portraits online. After that, JR will print and ship the photo back as a large, black and white portrait ready for pasting back into the community it sprang from.
The Insideout project has made it’s way to San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. Last Sunday I was invited by Street artist Hugh Leeman to join a community installation of 16 portraits at 609 Ellis. Here neighbors, photographers, press and corgi’s all hung out on a sunny, sunday afternoon, taking turns wheat pasting and sharing a few beers. I unfortunately arrived late, after speeding up the 5 from LA over the weekend, so I missed the actual installation, thus no pictures of that.
Here’s what Hugh had to say about the project:
Ideally this San Francisco group action will act as an advertisement offering the viewer the opportunity to see the homeless in a dignifying light, while beautifying the very neighborhood the subjects of the artwork live in. In this group action that took place today people were not only able to see the collaborative efforts between myself, homeless photographers and an internationally recognized artist, JR but they were able to meet and see the subjects in action creating this mural. As I had the homeless not just be the subjects for this project but also be the photographers and creators of the mural as it was them who made this possible by pasting the portraits onto the wall. It is my art and this projects highest aspiration to imagine harnessing others thoughts and dreams to not only beautify the world around us but to introduce disparate groups to one another, ideally this project will operate as a real life facebook. Where posting ideas and musings about one another’s lives are not done on a digital wall of our computer screens but on a real wall in real life.
Photographer Sean Desmond talking to press