JR Takes Italy
Ciao Art Fixers! We’ve got some exciting news to share with you: our favorite street artist, JR, has just launched a new project in la bella Italia.
In our first Art Fix episode ‘The City Is My Canvas’, we introduced you to this man of mystery: JR. Known only by his initials, this artist has gained just as much fame for his work as for his famous look: a black fedora and dark sunglasses, covering the face beneath. While his face remains a mystery, we do know lots about his trade. JR calls himself a “photograffeur”.
In his work he blows up giant versions of his photographs and pastes them on buildings, trains and bridges. Traveling to distant, often dangerous places, JR befriends inhabitants and recruits them as models and collaborators, almost becoming a local for a fleeting moment. JR’s magic lies in the messages behind his work, which often address sensitive and uncomfortable themes, all the while remaining respectful.
Now to Italy — where JR has launched his new project. For this venture, he teamed up with screenwriter and film director Alice Rohrwacher to create the short film “Omelia Contadina”, translating to an agricultural prayer. The film premiered at the 77th Venice Film Festival last month, and focuses on the demise of traditional rural culture. Following the screening they staged a procession in Venice, which was filmed with drones for the whole world to see.
This project was born out of JR’s interest in the difficulties encountered by a large number of small farmers of the Alfina plateau in Italy, but also speaks to the recent farmer struggles and protests across Europe.
Galleria Continua – JR: Omelia Contadina
- Until 10 January 2021
- Via del Castello 11, San Gimignano
JR elaborates on this theme in his first solo exhibition at Galleria Continua with a series of photographic works made on glass, paper, plaster, and even on stained glass windows.
In the main theatre of the gallery, JR has made an impressive site-specific installation which fills and transforms not only the stage, but also the entire front area of the audience space of the former cinema. Watch the following video to hear the artist discuss this phenomenal work himself.
We encourage all Art Fixers who are in Italy or who will travel to Tuscany this autumn to go visit this exhibition.
Aside from JR’s exhibition, one can also find exhibitions by French conceptual artist Daniel Buren and Italian legend Michelangelo Pistoletto, known for his mirror paintings, in the city of San Gimignano. All of these exhibitions are hosted by Galleria Continua.
Galleria Continua is open Monday to Sunday, 10am–1pm, 2–7pm by appointment only. Please book your visit to the exhibitions in advance and bring your mask: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arrivederci Art Fixers!
ART FIX TIP:
The largest solo museum exhibition to date by JR will open at the Saatchi Gallery in London later this year (13 November-9 February 2021). The show features murals, photographs, videos, and films spanning nearly two decades of work.