Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Get plastered: Dallas faces pasted around town in global art project
You have until Friday to have your photo taken.
DALLAS French artist JR plans to paint the town with portraits by week’s end. Wednesday through Friday, a mobile photo booth will capture pictures of people at specific locations in Dallas, and large replicas of their faces – smiling, shrieking, smirking – will be pasted inside the gallery walls at the Dallas Contemporary or on the outside of a building in Deep Ellum.
The murals are the big idea of photographer and contemporary artist JR, whose Inside Out Project now includes nearly 175,000 portraits in more than 8,500 locations worldwide, according to his website. His photo truck traveled to Dallas to capture the identities of its people, said Pedro Alonzo, adjunct curator at the Dallas Contemporary.
Where to have your portrait taken:Wednesday, noon to 2:30 p.m.: Deep Ellum at 417 S. Second Ave.
Thursday, noon to 5 p.m.: Dallas Contemporary
Friday, 1 to 5 p.m.: Dallas Contemporary
Photos in Deep Ellum will be pasted on the outside of the building. Portraits taken at the Dallas Contemporary will be glued to the walls, floors and ceiling inside the gallery. The portraits become part of a new exhibition that officially goes on display to the public Saturday at 9 p.m. JR will host an artist’s talk Sunday at noon.
Here’s how it works: Interested participants visit one of the truck’s locations Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, where each photo is taken for free. It is then printed on 36- by 52-inch paper, and the subject can or donate it back to the project, where it will be placed proudly on display.
While JR will be in Dallas for some of the events, he isn’t the eye behind the lens. He’s automated the booth so his photo trucks around the world – two in the U.S. and one in Europe – can capture photos no matter where he is.
“Think of it kind of like the Internet. He’s open-sourced it,” Alonzo said of the project. “He’s created a way for this to go global. To go far beyond his reach.”
JR joins a growing list of well-known artists traveling to the Dallas Contemporary. Shepard Fairey visited West Dallas in 2012 to paint large murals on the buildings at the base of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.
“This is really a vehicle for empowerment," Alonzo said of JR's Inside Out portrait project. "It gives people the opportunity to get recognized and to stand out. Most of us are fed information all day by the media or by the government or whatever about what to do or what not to do … he has simply provided a platform for us to be recognized. I think that’s a beautiful and wonderful tool.”
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