TED Prize 2011 Awarded to Young Global Artist, JR

French Artist Tackles Global Issues, Inspires Change Where Traditional Mediums Have Failed

Oct 20, 2010, 00:05 ET from TED Conferences

NEW YORK, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- JR, a moving and innovative artist who exhibits freely in the world's streets, has been named the recipient of the 2011 TED Prize – an award granting $100,000 and something much bigger: a wish to change the world with the support of the TED Community's incredible resources.

JR represents a new chapter in the TED Prize. While a seemingly unconventional recipient, his work matches the creativity and innovative spirit of the TED community and his art inspires people to view the world differently – and want to change it for the better.

JR is a true humanitarian who creates "Pervasive Art." Working with a team of volunteers in various urban environments, he mounts enormous black-and-white photo canvases that spread on the buildings of the slums around Paris, on the walls in the Middle East, on the broken bridges in Africa, and in the favelas of Brazil. These images become part of the local landscape and capture people's attention and imagination around the world.

In Rio, he turned hillsides into dramatic visual landscape by applying images to the facades of favela homes. In Kenya, focusing on "Women Are Heroes," he turned Kibera into a stunning gallery of local faces. And in Israel and Palestine, he mounted photos of a rabbi, imam and priest on walls across the region – including the wall separating Israel from the West Bank.

JR remains anonymous – never showing his full face, revealing his name, or explaining his huge portraits – to allow for an encounter between the subject and passers-by.

"JR's mind blowing creations have inspired people to see art where they wouldn't expect it and create it when they didn't know they could," said TED Prize Director Amy Novogratz.  "He's putting a human face on some of the most critical social issues while redefining how we view, make and display art. JR has moved all of us at the TED Prize. There is no doubt that his talent – paired with the resources of this amazing community – will lead to a wish that changes the world." 


The first TED Prize was awarded in 2005, born out of the TED Conference and a vision by the world's leading entrepreneurs, innovators, and entertainers to change the world – one Wish at a time.

The reward: $100,000, the TED Community's array of talent and expertise, and the leadership of a TED Prize team led by Amy Novogratz. What began as an unparalleled experiment to leverage the resources of the TED Community to spur global change has evolved into one of the most prestigious prizes.

From Bono's the ONE Campaign ('05 recipient) to Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution ('10 recipient), the TED Prize is helping to combat poverty, take on religious intolerance, improve global health, tackle child obesity, advance education, and now inspire art around the world.

JR will unveil his "wish to change the world" on March 2nd at TED2011. The global TED Community will work to make it come true.  

For more information on the TED Prize, visit www.tedprize.org.

For Press Inquiries:

Erin Allweiss, eallweiss@groupsjr.com

(917) 512-2118/(202) 446-8265 cell

SOURCE TED Conferences