TED Prize Winner in Shanghai: Street Artist JR

Pervasive street artist JR, who was just awarded the TED Prize, is opening his latest exhibition ‘The Wrinkles of a City’ in Shanghai tonight. His work is characterised by intimately-shot black and white photographs, super-sized and pasted in remarkable urban locations. There’s always a strong humanitarian message in his works.

While other world-renowned street artists like Banksy comment on what divides the human race, JR‘s work carries an intrinsic positivity. His images are, in the very literal sense, a mirror-cum-magnifying glass on the local communities he visits. Real people, intimate images and personal stories competing with the concrete Kongs of urban environments. It’s a case of ‘David vs Goliath’, where JR inflates his Davids to a size that enables a fairer fight.

JR’s powerful previous works like the ‘Face2Face’ (2007)—a series pasted on both sides of the Israel/Palestine security border—and ‘Women Are Heros‘ (2008)—his tribute to the dignity of women in areas of conflict like Sierra Leone, Liberia, southern Sudan and Kenya—make him a worthy recipient of the US$100,000 TED Prize grant, awarded earlier this week. The grant will be used for a worldwide art collaboration with TED –watch this space!

The exhibition opens tomorrow night (24 October) with cocktails at 18Gallery on the Bund (until 11 December 2010) and will also be part of the Shanghai Biennale at the Shanghai Art Museum (until 28 February 2011).

'Wrinkles of the City' by JR (Shanghai, China)

'Wrinkles of the City' by JR (Shanghai, China)

'Wrinkles of the City' by JR (Shanghai, China)

'Wrinkles of the City' by JR (Shanghai, China)

'Wrinkles of the City' by JR (Shanghai, China)

'Wrinkles of the City' by JR (Shanghai, China)

'Wrinkles of the City' by JR (Shanghai, China)

'Wrinkles of the CIty' by JR (Shanghai, China)

More Shanghai street art here.

Update: Additional images from the JR Exhibition Opening at 18Gallery here.