Qatar Museums (QM) celebrates the work of French artist JR with a spectacular display of work on show at QM Gallery…

JR is a French artist turned photographer who maintains anonymity. His work combines art and engaged actions through large-scale outdoor installations, films, photographs and videos, using the streetscape as his canvas and his inspiration, which he claims as the largest art gallery in the world.

Since beginning his artistic career at the age of 17, JR has created monumental photographs that he pastes around the world, catching the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors. JR creates Pervasive Art that spreads uninvited on the buildings and slums around Paris, on the walls in the Middle East, on the broken bridges in Africa or the favelas in Brazil.

He doesn’t explain his work, allowing the subjects, protagonists, spectators and passers-by to raise their own questions and interpret his work themselves. JR – Répertoire, which is made in collaboration with Galerie Perrotin, will feature some of the key series that have made the artist famous around the world, and the show will also include a video lounge where selected video works can be viewed.

Khalid Yousef Al Ibrahim, Chief Strategic Planning Officer at Qatar Museums, said: “We are extremely proud and excited to present the first show in the Middle East of internationally acclaimed artist JR. This exhibition brings to life our commitment at Qatar Museums to display works by world-class artists that inspire an indigenous culture of creativity and innovation.

“We hope that this exhibition will spark creativity amongst young Qatari artists and residents in Qatar, who will visit the show, interpret JR’s work in their own way and inspire enthusiasm and engagement in our community,” he added. JR’s best known works include Face 2 Face (2007), which saw the artist paste onto both sides of the separation wall and in several Palestinian and Israeli cities, with large portraits of ordinary citizens with the same occupation of both ethnicities and religions, forcing the viewer to question who each individual person was and whether a difference could be made.

In 2008,he launched a powerful project titled Women Are Heroes, that showcased poignant and powerful portraits of physical and emotional survival amidst atrocity, documenting the dignity of women in conflict zones and violent environments. In another more recent project in 2016, the artist covered the streets of Rio with giant art installations representing athletes, each turning the city into their own personal playgrounds.

Now, it’s your tune to get up close and personal with this incredible, globe spanning work. ✤

GO: JR – Répertoire will be on display at QM Gallery Katara, Building 10 until May 31. Visit www.qm.org.qa/en for more information