The French street artist JR made his name with large format photographs of locals from one of Paris’ largest housing projects that he then wheat-pasted onto ornate buildings in Paris’ tonier quarters. The middle-of-the-night street art mission in 2004 prompted high-level discussions around the depiction of project kids in French society and media. He’s since used his art to advocate for women in one of Rio de Janeiro’s most violent favelas, reconcile the differences between Muslims and Jews on the Israeli border, and, most recently on Mexican immigration to the US. His method employs both whimsy and gravitas in drawing attention to serious social issues. Sometimes, though, it’s just about whimsy. Like in a wonderful new documentary he collaborated on with 89-year-old French New Wave film legend Agnès Varda. Faces Places sees the odd couple travel through the French countryside in a truck-turned-camera, making outsized portraits of locals and revealing the joys and challenges of the artistic process along the way. It debuted in theaters in New York on Oct 6, Los Angeles on Oct 13 and will reach additional theaters in the coming weeks. Don’t be surprised if it nets Varda another Oscar come March.
He has worked as a journalist for the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Newsweek and Monocle Magazine from Berlin and London before leading Red Bull’s mainstream-facing content platform, The Red Bulletin, from Los Angeles. He recently returned to his hometown of San Francisco with his small family. firstname.lastname@example.org