Gallerie d'Italia opens to the public in the Intesa Sanpaolo museum in Turin the first solo exhibition in Italy of JR, a French artist famous throughout the world for his projects that combine photography, public art and social commitment, scheduled from 9 February to 16 July 2023.
Combining diverse expressive languages, JR (1983) will bring his personal touch in recounting reality and stimulating reflections on social fragility to the exhibition, which will occupy around 4,000 square metres of the museum in Piazza San Carlo, staged in collaboration with the Compagnia di San Paolo and curated by Arturo Galansino.
Having set out from the Parisian banlieues more than 20 years ago, JR has taken his art all around the world, with monumental public art interventions capable of interacting with large numbers of people and activating entire communities, from the Brazilian favelas to a high-security prison in California, from the Pyramid at the Louvre to the Egyptian pyramids, from the border between Israel and Palestine to that between Mexico and the United States.
The problems of migrants and refugees, which are becoming increasingly hot topics, have long been part of JR's investigation. With the Déplacé∙e∙s project, launched in 2022 and presented for the first time in this exhibition, the artist has travelled to crisis zones ranging from war-torn Ukraine to the refugee camps of Mugombwa, Rwanda, Mbera, in Mauritania, Cucuta in Colombia, and Lesvos, in Greece to reflect on the harsh conditions in which thousands of people find themselves today due to conflicts, wars, famine and climate change, and to engage audiences excluded from the artistic and cultural circuit in the name of values such as freedom, imagination, creativity and participation.
While ephemeral, JR's art creates an impact on society and the world we live in. It is made for people and with people, revealing the importance of our individual and collective role in improving the present and trying to answer a question which is crucial to the artist: can art change the world?
On Tuesday, February 7th, the artist JR carried out a public art performance, involving hundreds of people to bring - to Piazza San Carlo from the surrounding streets - five large canvases, depicting images of children he met during his visits to refugee camps from Rwanda to Greece. Some of the children featured in the images are oalso present at the exhibition.
The event, captured by drones, showcased the meeting of these child figures, creating an unprecedented event.