Discussion Topic: Street Art and Photography

6-ft photo mural on Mulberry and Prince

In 2011, the French street artist JR launched a global art project called Inside Out Project that uses photographic images to address issues of social identity.  Everyone is invited to participate.  Individuals or groups send in their black and white photographic portraits and JR sends back photographic posters to be displayed in the home communities and online.  Some of these posters are also visible in New York City.  At the moment, a 6-foot photographic mural from the North Dakota Native American series is located by Mulberry and Prince Streets in downtown Manhattan.

The Inside Out website‘s official statement tells us:

INSIDE OUT is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Everyone is challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world. These digitally uploaded images will be made into posters and sent back to the project’s co-creators for them to exhibit in their own communities. People can participate as an individual or in a group; posters can be placed anywhere, from a solitary image in an office window to a wall of portraits on an abandoned building or a full stadium. These exhibitions will be documented, archived and viewable virtually.

Explore the Inside Out Project website and watch the short trailer.

Trailer for the Inside Out Project

What do you think of this democratic project that combines street art and photography?  What do you think would be a good idea for a photographic wall project in your community?

This is the last Discussion Topic that I am posting for the course.  You are welcome to comment/post up until Sunday May 20th, the weekend after the final.  

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8 Responses to Discussion Topic: Street Art and Photography

  1. What seems so bizzarre about this post is that Mulberry and Prince intersection has been a perfect place to view both artistic and controversial postings. So if any message were to be sent across, why not put it here? Personal identity is a broad topic that leaves many artists freedom to create virtually anything that address the importance of race, gender, or cultural background. The guerilla tactic the Inside Project has chosen to use reminds me of the Occupy Wall Street movement, in which the projected a 12ft. a “99% bat-signal” on the side of the manhattan Verizon building.

  2. INSIDE OUT Project is a great idea of expressing yourself and delivering a message of personal identity. These large posters are in fact very noticeable. Therefore, it makes much easier to deliver the message to the public, whatever that message might be. It does not matter whether one argues for love, diversity of future, as long as it works, as long as can make a difference.

  3. advent47 says:

    The Inside Out Project as a whole does seem like an interesting concept of what could be the future of street art. As may expected from some, such as myself, who have no clue such a project exists can only lead me through the conclusion that this was spread through a community in which anyone can participate if they happen to be interested and heard about it from someone. The person has to take a close-up picture of their face, send it to JR, the street artist that started this project, and have mailed back to them an enormous poster of their picture to hang outside. Some may find this rather silly and would probably think: Who would want to see around their neighborhood a black and white picture of someone’s face? The concept of this project is to express personal identity, which shows the importance of race, gender, sexuality, and anything that makes a person who they are. The people who participate in this project feel that what they are doing is good for everyone and shows that we are all equal no matter what we are.

  4. I think the Inside Out Project is a really smart idea. Black and white photographic are very suitable for social identity issue because it is a very dark and powerful topic. The black and white image will also stand out from the other color advertising. The big poster size is also a smart move because our eyes will never miss a big poster. The rest depends on what people thinks and feel when they look at the poster.

  5. smarte5 says:

    Personally I didn’t even noticed something like the inside out project was going on. I think the artist JR came up with a great idea to express personal identity agreeing with Denis Fadeyev. What better way to express the message your trying to get out there, than with a poster of your own face expression. Like they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Whats even better is that its not limited to just one part of the world. Anyone anywhere around the world is able to participate and i think that the icing on the cake were a person’s message can be expressed and viewed not just locally but globally as well. Absolutely outstanding.

  6. elly says:

    This project is amazing. But I think someone had beat them to it! Last year a Man named JR won the TED prize for doing something similar to this. He went around France taking photos of people who lived in the slums and printed the images to extremely large sizes and posted them around the bourgeois areas! He then did the same in the middle east. Except in the middle east he crossed the border and put up one sides images on the other side in an attempt to see if people realize any difference without being told. He then did the same in Kenya. This time focusing on women! It was something so amazing to see! But in regards to this project it is cool that anyone from around the world can participate! Hopefully this will give people a motivation to get out there to use their cameras and to look at things like they never have before!

  7. John Rodriguez says:

    Sadly to say if your in that type of art community such as photography people wouldn’t know of such event. When you view something like this in Manhattan, it’s ehh, a advertisement for some sort of thing. I had no idea that it was for an artistic movement till I read the article, now it comes to me. It is street art because some well known people like OBEY use a poster style of tagging up, basically a giant sticker, and since the place ment is on a huge and on building, it’s really getting up their and getting the message out there.

  8. Bianca Silva says:

    I’ve never heard of this project, but it looks like it can become big. The main focus in the photos are the people’s face, signifying who they are and what they look it. Making the posters big is a way to make sure their seen and having it in black and white gives it a dramatic look to it. Letting people see the identity of of others no matter the race or gender. I seems like a great project and I hope it becomes as successful as they want it to be.

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