JR, ‘The Wrinkles of the City, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, USA’, 2011, JR Studio

The Wrinkles of the City is a world-scale project aimed to be presented in various cities around the world where human wrinkles as well as architectural, can be found. Before Los Angeles, JR has pasted The Wrinkles of the City in Cartagena, Spain (2008) and in Shanghai, China (2010). In Spanish, the project is entitled Los Surcos de la Ciudad.
Los Angeles is quite a new city, the second largest in the United States. Following Cartagena and
Shanghai, JR wants to bring his Wrinkles of the City project to Los Angeles in 2011. This time, the
purpose of the project isn't to meet witnesses of the changes that have occurred in the city or in their own lifes. Los Angeles is the place where the Hollywood myth was born, with its stars system, the glamour and the beauty being part of the identity of the city. For this project, JR wishes to oppose the wrinkles of old people living in LA and the marks of their past with the image of perfection or regenerated beauty in the XXIst century. For instance, in Southern California, plastic surgery is no longer a luxury but a lifestyle. It is now socially accepted, above all cultural and social barriers. With this approach, the most interesting part of the project is to spread these old wrinkled portraits in the city, using the gigantic urban development as a huge canvas. Contrary to Cartagena or Shanghai, JR wont paste on ruins or destoyed walls and buildings. The city is considered by planners and geographers as a forerunner and model for the development of American metropoles. The "City of Angels" appears as a laboratory of "urban postmodernism", that offers large new and recent walls to paste downtown and all around the suburbs. Considering JRÍs way of working, Los Angeles could become a real open air museum.

About JR

A semi-anonymous street artist of international renown, JR plasters giant, monochrome photographs of faces in urban centers—on rooftops and walls, in church windows, and along the sides of buses. Calling the street his gallery and “using art to turn the world inside out,” JR delivers a message of social action, telling the stories of the marginalized or voiceless. “Portrait d’une Generation” (2004-06) featured images of young African immigrants hamming for the camera, plastered in the Paris suburbs in the aftermath of major rioting; for his project “Face 2 Face” (2005-07), JR pasted huge images of similarly jovial Jews and Palestinians along the border marking disputed areas between Israel and Palestine. JR describes his practice as a continuation of the “tagging” he did as a young graffiti artist: “I’m tagging faces of persons,” he says. “They are the ones responsible for their image. When the people react to the project, it becomes their project.”

French, b. 1983