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JR is celebrated for his iconic black and white photographic murals. His striking images are enhanced by their strategic placement in public space. For Open Source, JR continued his exploration of immigration by pasting a monumental portrait of an otherwise unknown immigrant on a building in Philadelphia’s Center City. The mural, Migrants, Ibrahim, Mingora-Philadelphia, highlights the personal histories of the millions of anonymous immigrants who leave everything behind for a chance at a better life in this country. It depicts Ibrahim, a Philadelphia resident who immigrated to Philadelphia from Pakistan.
JR was born in France in 1983 and currently lives in Paris and New York City. Since 2000, JR has pasted his large-scale photographs in streets throughout the world as a method of exploring personal identity. By merging photography with street art, JR covers entire buildings, walls, streets and other unconventional surfaces with his wheatpasted portraits, creating what he calls “pervasive” art. His work addresses important social issues and gives a voice to the underrepresented. In 2011, JR won the TED Prize and launched Inside Out, an international participatory art project that allows people worldwide to get print and wheatpaste their own photographs. JR has had solo exhibitions at museums including the Dallas Contemporary and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, and his posters have been installed outdoors in multiple continents: North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
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Migrants, Ibrahim, Mingora-Philadelphia © 2015, JR. The Graham Building at Dilworth Park, 30 S 15th Street, Philadelphia, PA. Photos by Steve Weinik.