One Artist, Many Photos: Art vs. Advertising

Last week I finally walked across the Time’s Square, which is a rare occasion despite the fact that I live just a few blocks away. As many New Yorkers would tell you, we try to avoid the overpopulated / over-touristy areas in the city, because of a few reasons: we simply can do that because we’ve seen and been there so many times, and there’s nothing very new we haven’t seen there. However, occasionally we do have to walk by, minding our daily business.

Ironically, not having been around the Time’s Square for months, last week I’ve discovered a quite interesting picture – the whole area that divides Broadway and the Seventh Avenue between the theatre discount tickets’ booth and 43rd Street was covered with the ‘photo-booth’ like snapshots of the people. Random people too.

An arial shot as more and more people paste their Inside Out images in the center of Times Square. Photo:


I wondered what the hell was going on and what it’s all about. Funny the life it is, yesterday I learned what it was all about.
It’s the project “Art vs. Advertising” by the Artist JR, whose Inside Out photo truck is going to be parked in Times Square in New York City through May 10. Here’s the photo I took on May 2nd, 2013 (yesterday) as I passed the Time’s Square on my way to Bikram yoga:


While I noticed the design on the ground a few days ago, only yesterday I discovered the digital piece of the project: the artist set up the live snapshots in the real time of the people on the Time’s Square, whose faces were then applied to the ongoing digital animation, projected on the big screen billboard. Here’s the video I made:

TED Prize winner JR came to New York for the premiere of his documentary, INSIDE OUT: The People’s Art Project, at the Tribeca Film Festival. But that was not – as we found out – the only project he was bringing to the NYC audience.

Right before heading to New York, JR stopped in Berlin, where he and his crew similarly pasted 15 walls with images of older Berliners. At the same time, JR also released an app which allows fans to browse Inside Out projects across the world through a beautiful map.

That’s the thing about New York City – you never know, where and how the city will amuse you. Share your great finds in your city!What do you think about this art project? Would you want to be a part of it?

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