JR exhibits freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors, from the suburbs of Paris to the slums of Brazil to the streets of New York, pasting huge portraits of anonymous people, from Kibera to Istanbul, from Los Angeles to Shanghai. As Russia invaded Ukraine, JR was inspired to create Valeriia, an image of a five-year-old Ukrainian refugee on a 148-foot-long tarp that was held by hundreds of people in the city of Lviv. The image made the cover of Time magazine and has since been on display in different cities throughout Europe. JR will discuss how this project has been an inspiration to people throughout the world, and the two NFT’s he’s set up to fund the project, with the proceeds supporting refugees exiting Ukraine at different border crossings.
Willie Geist is the host of NBC News’ Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist. He is also a co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe and a regular host and contributor to TODAY. Geist also contributes to the NBC Sports Group, where he hosted coverage of several Olympic Games. Geist is the author of three books, including the New York Times bestsellers Good Talk, Dadand American Freak Show. He lives in New York with his wife and their two children. Geist is on Twitter at @WillieGeist.
JR exhibits freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors, from the suburbs of Paris to the slums of Brazil to the streets of New York, pasting huge portraits of anonymous people, from Kibera to Istanbul, from Los Angeles to Shanghai. In 2011 he received the TED Prize, after which he created Inside Out, an global participatory art project that allows people worldwide to get their picture taken and paste it to support an idea and share their experience – as of January 2022, over 450,000 people from more than 141 countries have participated, through mail or gigantic photobooths. His recent projects include a large-scale pasting in a maximum security prison in California, a TIME Magazine cover about Guns in America, a video mural including 1,200 people presented at SFMOMA, a collaboration with New York City Ballet, an Academy Award Nominated feature documentary co-directed with Nouvelle Vague legend Agnès Varda, a huge installation on the Pantheon in Paris, the pasting of a container ship, the pyramid of the Louvre, a monumental mural “à la Diego Rivera” in the suburbs of Paris, giant scaffolding installations at the 2016 Rio Olympics, an exhibition on the abandoned hospital of Ellis Island, a social restaurant for homeless and refugees in Paris or a gigantic installation at the US-Mexico border fence. As he remains anonymous, JR leaves the space empty for an encounter between the subject/protagonist and the passer-by/interpreter. That is what JR's work is about, raising questions.