What happens when citizens around the world take control and ownership of an artist's creative vision?
JR, a good friend of the Wooster Collective, explores these questions as part of his ongoing Inside Out project, now the subject of "Inside Out: The People's Art Project", a fantastic new documentary premiering this Monday night on HBO.
JR first conceptualized Inside Out as he began to post his now iconic portraits in locations such as the West Bank barrier wall, which gave these anonymous faces new meaning and importance. The HBO documentary is both a record of JR's call for the world to become part of Inside Out and an exploration of the "power of paper and glue", to borrow JR's expression.
In the film, director Alastair Siddons explores the impact of Inside Out on events both personal and political. In a North Dakota reservation plagued by youth suicides, the project literally gives grieving parents a new perspective on their anguish. In footage taken just after the Arab Spring, we watch as Tunisians participating in the project learn for themselves how quickly making art can become a political statement. The effect is an uplifting testament to the power of street art.
Inside Out: The People's Art Project premieres on HBO this Monday, May 20 at 9 PM EST.
Here's the trailer: