Discussion Topic: Street Art, Photography, and the Inside Out Project in Times Square

JR and Pharrell at the Inside Out Project, Times Square, April 2013

The Inside Out Project is HERE in NYC’s Times Square through May 10th. Go to the Photo Book Truck in Times Square and get your photograph taken!

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.  A 6-foot photographic mural from the North Dakota Native American series was located by Mulberry and Prince Streets in downtown Manhattan (but I don’t know if it’s still there).

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. 

Explore the short trailer for the Inside Out Project and ABCNews recent coverage of the Inside Out Photobooth driving around NYC.

ABCNews on Inside Out in NYC 2013

Trailer for the Inside Out Project

Look at some of the Times Square Inside Out Photos

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?

The deadline for submitting posts to this Discussion Topic is the last day of class, Thursday, May 23rd. 

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3 Responses to Discussion Topic: Street Art, Photography, and the Inside Out Project in Times Square

  1. Beatriceh7 says:

    The work that JR is doing is fantastic. I do understand that some people do not like the idea of their photographs being walked on in Times Square, but besides that I have nothing but praise for JR for this project. JR is allowing the public to participate with him on an art project for free. It is amazing to see photos of every day people because all of us are looking to see if we know anybody that would be in those photos. Also, JR captures their many facial expressions and allows them to be themselves. His combination of street art and photography is refreshing because it is easy to see that he left the people in the photo entirely in charge of what they wanted to do, his only task was to capture and develop. When many people think of street art, the first thing that comes to mind is graffiti and sprayed street murals and not much else, so to see JR use people’s photographs as a form of street art is quite unique. I did get really excited when I saw that photo of JR and Pharrell because Pharrell is one of my favorite musicians as well.
    A good idea of a photographic wall in my community would probably be what a very popular section looked like a long time ago. I live in Queens and I live by a pretty popular (for us) shopping strip and it runs along Junction Boulevard. It would be nice to see what Junction Boulevard looked like 50 years ago.

  2. I truly like the idea of combing street art and photography cause all in all it’s still some form of art. It expresses art and it’s language in a different way, rather then having to visit places where there is art i believe people would really enjoy just the muse of looking at art just by walking to the grocery store. I don’t believe that photography like this would be good in my community do to the lack of understand some people may have towards the project but it is very smart and great. I like that fact that it was done in the city mostly for tourist who come for the very first time and get the excitement of New York City. Pharrell himself is all about art through his music and the way he dresses and so again i respect the work JR has done, because it gets people involved.

  3. Faces, in different shapes and for what it seems to be, all in black and white. I think it is a really cool thing to put photography in the streets. Especially in this creative way in which people will definitely notice it. Every day people look at a bunch of faces. And usually, for me anyways, a majority of those faces are quick as if to not be rude or not stare and random people on the street. With this idea one could see these faces and not have to shy away from it. I think it does cloud the natural and “norm” faces that people have because it seems that all of the subjects know they are being photographed for this project. Regardless it is a really really cool thing that is being done. I also like how the project has been a world wild thing and it for the most part is a medium for really positive feelings or even messages that could come from seeing these faces all over the place. When I think of my community and what type of photographic wall project to suggest, I come up blank. My community is pretty diverse like many others but I do feel there are parts that are just too isolated and make it feel like it is all split up into parts. If there was a creative way that photography could help influence in that I would definitely be impressed.

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