Prize Winner: JR
The photography and, recently, film making, of French artist JR is beyond inspiring.
JR’s recent film, Women Are Heroes, is based on his exhibitions in Africa.
Check out his TED interview here.
As cliché as it may sound, we felt JR’s work relates to drug addiction and rehabilitation based on the healing nature of creativity and the power art has to expose truth and change lives.
JR’s photographs are honest, both in how their inceptions and executions. This is in part because the subjects of his work are willing to be vulnerable, letting their silly expressions be captured on film and willing to have them immortalized and pasted all over a city. This comes from the building of trust between all people involved – artist, subject, and viewers – to create a space of acknowledgement, acceptance, and reconciliation.
Having a space where one can be honest and not fearful of the truth is what is needed to heal. Being honest with one’s self is one of the first steps an addict goes through in rehabilitation and treatment. Even if an addict doesn’t start rehab by recognizing that she has a problem, to progress and correct issues, honesty and openness to the changes truth can bring about is the key.
Facing the reality of what has happened in the past, the present results of those actions, and how to bring about change for the future, an addict learns what she is up against. More importantly, she can create solutions based on the realistic inventory of her life. No matter how gruesome or horrific she thinks her past is, truth can help in mending a life that was torn a part by lies.
JR is one example of people who can help a person in her healing and recovery process by creating a space of honesty. This, we believe, is full of important take aways that can help an addict and loved ones create their own spaces to find their own healing through truth and creativity.