WORLDWIDE///ROADTRIPPING///JR AT THE PHOTO PHNOM PENH FESTIVAL, CAMBODIA
French photographer and public art (notice we didn't say "Street Art") phenom JR has had a busy couple of months trekking through Brasil nd India on his way to Cambodia for the PHOTO PHNOM PENH FESTIVAL that opened late last month where he installed a massive succession of images from his "28mm: Women" series, many of which were captured along the way. In commemoration of the event's inaugural year, the artist wrapped, very appropriately, the French Embassy in Phnom Penh with 20 sets of women's eyes culled from his recent photography portfolio that portrays ordinary women around the world—many of whom work as prostitutes in war-torn countries. JR shot this series using a wide-angle 28mm lens that forces an extreme close-up between photographer and subject, resulting in portraits marked by their uncanny intimacy and extreme detail. A truly egalitarian artist whose career focus has been bringing art out of the gallery and onto the streets for the average person to appreciate, often in impoverished areas where local interaction with formal art is nonexistent, JR remains guarded when pressed about the true meaning of his work: "I put [my work] on the street, and sometimes people try to find the exact meaning, but there isn't one. They have to think about it. Most of the time, [my subjects] have to explain the project much more than I do. After all, they are the ones posted up in the street. They are the real heroes of the project." While in Cambodia, JR continued his series by photographing local women and plans to return to the country in February 2009 to install the images guerilla-style across the city, continuing his ongoing dialogue with the streets and his subjects. HAVE A LOOK:
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