The 2011 TED Prize was awarded to French artist JR. The annual award included $100,000 and the “One Wish to Change the World.” The goal is to tackle global issues such as poverty, religious intolerance, healthcare, child obesity, education and now art. The TED Prize brings together people from the worlds of technology, entertainment and design, hence TED, and uses their talent and resources to attempt to grant this wish.
JR, who does not reveal his full face or name, displays his work free on the streets of the world in what is called “pervasive art.” With a team of volunteers, he mounts enormous black-and-white photo canvases on buildings in the slums of Paris, walls in Israel and the West Bank, bridges in Africa and favelas of Brazil. The images are often portraits of the residents themselves.
“JR’s mind-blowing creations have inspired people to see art where they wouldn’t expect it and create it when they didn’t know they could,” said TED Prize director Amy Novogratz. “He’s putting a human face on some of the most critical social issues while redefining how we view, make and display art. JR has moved all of us at the TED Prize. There is no doubt that his talent – paired with the resources of this amazing community – will lead to a wish that changes the world.”
JR will announce his wish on March 2 at TED2011.