Women Are Heroes

Overview

Guerilla street artist JR traveled to Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, Kenya, Brazil, India, and Cambodia to seek out women struggling in their everyday lives and, in his words, ?to take their stories around the world.? Pasting mural-size portraits of his subjects into their own communities?on the sides of buildings, on trains, on bridges?he brings a haunting human presence to harsh environments of social conflict. His photographs of the vast outdoor ?exhibitions? that he creates are iconic images celebrating the ...

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Overview

Guerilla street artist JR traveled to Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, Kenya, Brazil, India, and Cambodia to seek out women struggling in their everyday lives and, in his words, “to take their stories around the world.” Pasting mural-size portraits of his subjects into their own communities—on the sides of buildings, on trains, on bridges—he brings a haunting human presence to harsh environments of social conflict. His photographs of the vast outdoor “exhibitions” that he creates are iconic images celebrating the worth of the individual. A beautifully illustrated account of this remarkable project, Women Are Heroes introduces JR’s thrilling imagery of the modern landscape filled with human faces, and also includes his original photographic portraits paired with interviews in which the women share their lives and dreams.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Secretive French artist JR is fond of saying that he has "the biggest art gallery on the planet," a claim that this latest book (after The Wrinkles of the City: Shanghai) certainly backs up. After finding a camera on the Paris Métro, JR began his first major project, taking enormous portraits of people in marginalized communities and illegally plastering their images in affluent quartiers. This volume documents his work from 2008 onward with disenfranchised women in Sierra Leone, Kenya, Brazil, India, and elsewhere around the globe. Although Berrebi and others provide some brief critical writings, the heart of the book comprises the individual images of the women. Given the opportunity to pose however they want, the closely-cropped portraits are intimate, with women variously laughing, solemn, and defiant. Every photo is paired with a short monologue, the women speaking as often of unimaginable violence and hardship as of redemption and hope. From there, JR plastered the larger-than-life portraits in surprising public spaces, including the sides of trains, tops of shanties, walls of city centers, and staircases. In the spirit of JR's work, this visually arresting book succeeds not simply by documenting one of the most pervasive public art projects of recent decades, but by forcing viewers to come literally face-to-face with the complex human reality of survival. Says one woman who describes being raped by soldiers at a young age, "The message for all women out there is that they should not lose hope." Photos. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781419703331
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 690,152
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 12.80 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

JR creates participatory art projects that he hopes will change the world. He has reinvented public art and given new meaning to the photographic portrait. He is the 2011 winner of the TED Prize. Marco Berrebi is a producer and technology entrepreneur. Christian Caujolle is a distinguished critic and curator of photography. Françoise Docquiert is a professor of art and cultural studies at the University of Paris.

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