When French “photograffuer” JR first started pasting black and white photos on the walls of European cities more than a decade ago, he likely had little idea that he would spark an art phenomenon that would reach the far corners of the globe.
The Inside Out Project (IOP) has reached the streets of Tunisia, the billboards of Tehran, and the alleyways of Moscow. Now, if funding allows, Santiago could be the next city to be turned into an IOP “Citizen Museum.”
JR has long brought photography and art to urban environments, however IOP is his most ambitious project yet. Tens of thousands of people have already sent in digital black and white portraits to locations around the world and, with the help of co-creators, the photos have been blown up onto huge posters and pasted around urban areas.
Last year, JR received the TED Prize for his work, adding funding and further momentum to the global art initiative.
“I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project,” JR said in his TED speech. “Together we’ll turn the world inside out.”
Chile’s capital has a growing tradition of street art, and last year people from across Santiago contributed to the Wallpeople art project which touches on similar themes to IOP. With this in mind, Chilean graphic designer Gonzalo Pino and art coordinator Daniela González Diaz reached out to JR and became the directors of IOP Santiago.
The pair have been working on the project since January this year, and have received over eight hundred portraits of people from Chile and abroad.
IOP Santiago is currently in its fundraising phase, and for the month of September the project is accepting donations in order to print posters and realise JR’s dream of a global, urban “Citizen Museum.”
In order to help Pino and Diaz bring the many faces of Chile to the streets of Santiago, visit the IOP Santiago website here and make a donation.