Homework: The way JR expresses himself creatively

Watch this video. Watch it more than one time if you need to. Watch it with someone else too.

Make a comment and develop a conversation about the following things:

  • What inspires JR
  • The choices that JR makes so that his work is as powerful as possible
  • How people (including you) react to his work
  1. January 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I think what inspires JR is taking photo of people and displaying the photos around the world.
    My reaction was very confused because, why doe he want to do what he is doing? Is his inspiration taking photos of people and displaying them? I mean i have those questions to anyone with inspiration to anything.


  2. Mara
    January 30, 2012 at 3:26 pm

  3. Zola
    January 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Hi 6SS,

    Q.1 I think JR was inspired by the people in the riots in 2005,that happened in Paris. because during the riot at one point someone burnt a car and I think he was inspired becasue after that he took that photo it was all over the media.He thought he should go back to Paris and take photo’s of the people involved in the riot. He got inspired by the power of the media and how a photo could reach many more people thanks to the media.

    Q.2 The reason his work was so powerful was becasue the size of the photo’s and it got people attention a lot easier. I think also what made it so powerful was what body part he took a picture of becasue you can tell a lot about a face. What also made it powerful was where he put the pictures because he could have just put in a really bad spot where nobody could see but he put it in really creative spots like he put it on a train and on top of roofs. He covered a entire wall of a house, or a bridge. The last reason these photo’s are so powerful is also because of the countries he chose, they were all conflict areas, where Art might not be what people would normally get to see.

    Q.3 My reaction towards this was facinating, becasue in Kenya there were people who needed a roof and he used Vinyl with his photo printed on it to cover their roofs. People were kept dry and they were given a piece of Art. I think Art in places were there is no hope, conflict areas is most important, Art might make people question and be curiouse which might give people hope, in a place that might seem hopeless.

    Zola 😉

    • January 30, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      Hi everyone!

      I really agree with Zola. I think JR was inspired by the people in the riots in 2005.Also I think JR was inspired by putting people’s photos on the wall etc and make them smile too. Also I agree with what Mari says. I think he was inspired by he sees a smile up there in the favels or down there in Cambodia in a way he feel like he achieved his goal. There is always lots of reasons why you want to do it in actions.

      I think how he made his work powerful as possible by getting his photos in different sizes and in different things! Also it is really interesting to see other people’s faces. I think people were putting attention to it also because it is difficult to see these cool designs on streets and more. Espiacially people’s faces! Lots of people(including me) love watching people’s different emotions. You can learn everything about them.

      I think people thought this was really facinating and that it was unusual. People who thinks alot will think about why the designs there and search about it. My reaction towards this was that now I really appreciate JR. I was impressed by his creativity. Also I thought he had a good idea making a roof in Kenya. Now people will have a good, beautiful shelter to live in.

      See you,


  4. Pat
    January 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    I think what inspired JR was the way pictures could be put almost everywhere and they look good so there were pictures every where such as on roofs on trains and on the floor. I think the choices that JR made to make his work most powerful as possible is making it creative such as when there were mouth pictures on the hill the train just passed by with eyes painted on it and it joined with the mouth. My reaction to this is that JR must have been very in to this or wouldn’t spend all his time doing stuff like this.

  5. January 30, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I think what inspires JR is taking peoples pictures and displaying it. He said that “When I see a smile up there in the favels or down there in Cambodia in a way I feel likeI achieved my goal.” I feel happy when I see people smile. The choice that JR made is creative and powerful. He never gives up. In the video it makes me imagine things. When I watched the video I felt like go to my desk and draw my cat’s expression (angry) 😦 🙂 (Tabs’s expression) . My reaction was excited. What he is doing is really creative and COOL!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    • January 30, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      When people smile does it inspire u????

      • Pan
        January 30, 2012 at 5:42 pm

        I 😀 all the time, do i?

        • Pan
          January 30, 2012 at 5:47 pm

          I think for some people smiling inspires people.

        • January 30, 2012 at 5:57 pm

          Yup! For me, you look possitive all the time and I think it’s good! Smile! 😀

  6. Stefan
    January 30, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I think what inspires JR is taking photos of random people and displaying on trains, buildings, walls and floors.

    I think that JR made his pictures as powerful as possible by making them really big and putting the photos on places that everybody looks at.

    My first reaction was “won’t JR get arrested”? but then I thought that it was really cool and creative. Other peoples reactions might have been “Wow or that man should stop putting pictures up because the police always have to keep taking the photos down”.

  7. January 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Hi 6SS,

    I watched this video before because in faces in the crowd we are doing something quite similar but in only in Our Community. Its great


  8. Pan
    January 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    What inspires JR
    I think JR was inspired by taking random pictures of people and displaying them around the city.
    The choices that JR makes so that his work is as powerful as possible
    JR made his pictures powerful by making it big so that it stands out. He puts his pictures in places that most people go to so many people see it.
    How people (including you) react to his work
    It was very creative, but is he really respecting other people’s privacy by putting it on display, i think it is ok if you take a picture of someone but not put it on display.

  9. Yasmin :D
    January 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I think what inspires JR is to paste large photo’s of the inhabitants.
    I think the choices that JR makes is very good because
    1. He cares about the inhabitants.
    2. He know’s how to take very high quality photos.
    My reaction to this was he is crazy because many people don’t like to be photographed,then put on a wall. I think many people’s reaction is the same.

  10. January 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    What inspires JR?

    I think that the riots in 2005 at Paris inspired him to do something about it so he took pictures of the people involved in the fight and started to put it up all over the place at one point there was a policeman looking at the pictures but soon I think he understood the message and soon those pictures were all over the media.

    The choices that JR makes so that his work is as powerful as possible

    The reason his work was so powerful was because of the sizes he was using that got people’s attention and the type of pictures that he took were a bit silly, but it put a smile on peoples faces like he said: “When I see a smile up there in the favelas or down there in Cambodia in a way I feel like I achieved my goal.”

    How people (including you) react to his work

    My first reaction was “Isn’t he going to get arrested for this?” but then I thought that what he was doing made peoples homes and buildings more exciting and that he used vinyl to put on the roofs, and in the end of the video there was a part of the city that had pictures all over it and there was a huge part that looked pretty dull and boring but I could see that he expanding more and more and that we wasn’t giving up.

    • January 30, 2012 at 6:40 pm

      I’m going to write down the things JR said that I thought were pretty inspiring:

      The limits in that place are not where you think they are

      The real heroes are sometimes not where you think they are, they are right there in the street everywhere around you

  11. victor
    January 30, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    what inspires jr is to take pictures of poeple and post them around the world creativly.

    the way he makes it powerfull is because of the way he posts the picrures on the walls or on the roofs ect…

    some poeple enjoyed his work and some didnt like the police and tore it off.

    • January 30, 2012 at 6:22 pm

      Hi Victor!

      You have got good ideas but can you describe it more?


  12. Gina Choi
    January 30, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Q1: I think JR saw all the people faces in 2005 and the camera inspired him when it was invented. and I think when he was a kid he took lots of photos. The next thing was the posters around the city so he must have thought it was interesting so he made peoples faces as a poster around the city.

    Q2: I think the work he made has succeed because the photo was clear and perfect and the poster was really big and it was in a public place.

    Q3: I reacted like :WOW ! I could have done that thing before

    Gina 😀

  13. January 30, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Hi everyone,

    Q1- I think what inspires JR is taking photos of people and showing it to everybody on trains, buildings,roofs and grounds. I think he likes to express himself by art and photography because he is putting photos around every where and actually enjoying it, because if you had a inspiration like for an example art, you wouldn’t just stand their doing nothing but instead drawing, painting, sketching , coloring , shading and enjoying. So I think if JR didn’t express himself by taking photos and art than he would not have done this, or either he would done this but not enjoy it that much.

    Q2- I think the choices that he makes really powerful because “imagine it, if your face was on the building or train it would be just like having your face in T.V”. His work is also powerful because he is giving enjoyment and putting smiles on other peoples faces.

    Q3- My first reaction to this video is if other people would like his work or if he would get arrested because some people wouldn’t like having there faces up in public. But than I learned that the most people that got a picture and put in the train building… would be happy and not shy because lots of other people pictures got their too and everyone is looking happy with a big smile on their face.

    👿 By Madhav 👿

  14. Caitie : )
    January 30, 2012 at 7:23 pm


    1. I think JR saw people and thought they would look good in a picture and maybe the war inspired him, and the riots in Paris.

    2. He made his posters at the right time, and he did them in black and white! It was also cool that he put up the pictures on roofs!

    3. I though wow! He must have worked very hard, and did he ask the people if he could put up their pictures?

  15. January 30, 2012 at 7:24 pm


    Q1- I think what inspires JR is: taking pictures of people and showing it to people by pasting them on walls and many other ways. This shows that JR is thinking creatively to show the pictures to people. I think lots of people should inspire JR because he is really creative person. Maybe I should take picture of soi animals and write: SAVE THE CATS AND DOGS LIVING ON THE SOI.

    Q2- I think the most powerful way to expresses himself was pasting a huge picture on the building. I thought that was a really powerful way because than the picture gets attention from people. Also I liked how he put the pictures up where people gather around.

    Q3- My reaction to this video was: I was kind of worried because he might get arrested for putting pictures up on the building without permission. I think the police is preventing him from being a creative person. I learned that risk takers can be a creative person. JR was really a risk taker.

  16. Hannah
    January 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    What inspired JR?

    I think that the riots in Paris, France inspired him, to take photos of the people,and print them, and paste them on the walls and roofs of different countries.

    The choices that JR makes so that his work is a s powerful as possible.

    I think the reason that his work was so powerful was because he placed it somewhere, where most of the people(if not all) can see his artwork. It was also,so powerful because he put his artwork on vehicles, that can go through the whole country, and then more people see his artwork, and get to understand him more.

    How people (including you)react to his work

    I think that a lot of people would have the same reaction as I had, and do. I was amazed by his artwork, so amazed that I didn’t think about if he would get arrested, or what would happen to him, or his art work. After a while I thought about it, and saw how someone was tearing his artwork down and, then I got an answer for the question I had asked myself just by keeping on watching the video.

  17. January 30, 2012 at 7:50 pm


    Q1) I think what inspires JR is his passion of photography and when in 2005, realized that photography can make people see from another perspective. In this case, how people see others that are not from their own country.

    Q2) I think the choices that JR makes to make his work powerful are choices like to capture powerful photographs, to put up the photo in a place where it would stand out and etc. For example, he enlarged his photos, put them in places where they would ‘stand out’ and put them up with another use like in Kenya where his photos (which were pasted on roofs) were printed on vinyl so that they served as a second protection for the houses.

    Q3) My first reaction was impressed and fascinated because this was a normal man who had a creative idea and was willing to risk being thrown into jail just to show the idea to the world.

    This reminds me of sometimes when I have a camera and I just want to take candid shots of peoples’ expressions and emotions when there is nothing false and people are really looking the same way they feel.

    It also reminds me of a popular quote “A picture can tell a thousand words” because it really can.

  18. Tamanna
    January 30, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Hello 6SS,

    What inspires JR,

    I agree with Melis because he took people who were involved in the riots first but later. He started taking pictures of others too and he asked them to do whatever character they wanted and so people don’t actually make these funny faces but he told them to express themselves.

    The choices that JR makes so that his work is as powerful as possible?

    I think it was a good idea for him to put it around the city because it got peoples attention and my favorite was when he put it on the stairs because it was so interesting. The thing he did that was cool and good was put that he put them on peoples roofs so that it will protect them fro the rain and I thought it was cool to put a picture as your roof top.

    How people (including you) react to his work?

    I agree with Melis that “Isn’t he going to get arrested for this”? My reaction was that the city was so empty but when he started to take photos and put them around it felt like that city was a city full of photos everywhere. I was surprised when they put pictures on the roof I was feeling that i would want my building to be like that.


  19. January 30, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Hi 6SS,

    Q1. I think JR is inspired by helping people by lighting up their day, I also think he has a big passion for taking photos like I do. He seems to like to express him self in a way that everyone else can see and APPRECIATE! I think he was also inspired by troubles and conflict between different people who are only different by religion or location or racism and different bellies but they all have a shared commanality of smiling and expressing it with their faces. He seems to be straddling the divide through art and bringing different people together in a creative way and that grabs people’s attention.

    Q2. I think it is mostly about his choice of location to display his art but another is in a man’s community he put up ladie’s eyes in a male dominated community. He asks them to pose in a personal way and it is usually funny which is much more creative and not just a picture with no expression. He also puts them in a creative way they all go in different places and different styles! JR always uses totally different ideas so it always has a different effect on the receivers for example when he went to Kenya he put plastic portraits on the roofs so it could help them protect them selves!

    Q3. I was absolutely amazed that this guy actually got off his butt and helped, he actually did something different from others. I was impressed that he was willing to try something new and potentially dangerous for the sake of his amazing art. He also had a message “same same but different” like we are all the same biologically but are affected by our cultures and beliefs, we always have something pulling us back like stereotypes! “It is all in our mind”, “this will happen”, “they will do this”, “we do not like them”, etc, etc. We are strongly influenced by the people around us!



  20. Tammy
    January 30, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Q1: I think JR was inspired by the riot in Paris. After the riot he decided to go back and take more photos of the people who were in the riot. Also he was inspired by taking photos and putting them in the walls or putting them on roofs. I think JR is also a helpful person because the pictures that he put on the roofs help people to get more shelter.

    Q2: I think JR had succeeded because he put his photos in a public place where people could see . Also what JR did was very powerful because he stuck the photos very creatively by sticking it in different places.

    Q3: My reaction to JR was that he really tried hard because some people burned the photos he took. Or said it was illegal to put photos up but he didn’t give up he still tried and tried and tried.

    Tammy 🙂

  21. January 30, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Hi everyone!

    Q1) What inspires JR.

    I think JR was inspired by how people reacted to his pictures that he put in a small place in Paris. When he put up the photos one year later people would burn a car right next to it and many people read the news and got to know what was happening. He thought that he would like to do it more so he took more photos of people in 2006 and stuck it in the walls of East Paris. He also put the building number, name and age of the person whoever got took in the photo. I think this activity started by JR being creative and imagining that every single person in the whole world got to know each other. That’s what I think.

    Q2) The choices that JR makes so that his work is as powerful as possible

    Like Zola said I think he made it a huge size not just a normal picture size and also he put it where people will walk by or drive by. Also I think he made it powerful by creating them and showing them in many different and creative ways. Like in the last part of the video he put the peoples eyes on the train and he put the mouth and nose at the bottom of the rail road so every time a new train passes by a new face will pop up. He is also not putting famous people but poor or ordinary people up on the streets. His target was mostly the poor who don’t have a chance to stand out in the country, town or city. This could raise awareness, make people use the compass and make people use empathy so both humans poor and rich are happy to live in the country.

    Q3) How people (including you) react to his work

    I think the police the government and some local people won’t like it and maybe tare and ripe them off the walls and throw them in the bin because they don’t appreciate the work that JR did. The people who liked the photo and wanted JR to take a photo would probably be the people who will be inspired by him and maybe share the photos JR took in Facebook, Twitter, Skype and websites. For me I think I am on the inspired side. When I saw the part where he put the eyes on the wall I was amazed and I thought it was so beautiful and the message was really clear.

  22. Vin
    January 30, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    JR went to an area of Paris to take some photos of the people in that neighborhood and put them up. A year later, he was inspired to do the same thing in the riots. Then, he and his friend Marco went to the middle east to try his project. Slowly from that point, it started spreading to many other countries.

    JR took up-close shots and then pasted them really big in public places so people would be attracted. His goal wasn’t to be a street artist and ruin the buildings, but to help people get to know each other more. I think some parts were really creative, such as when he pasted his photos on a group of houses on a hill at 3:21. I especially liked when he stuck three different heads down from the mouth on a hillside, and a stuck the parts above the mouth on the side of a train. Then, when the train passed, the three faces each got different expressions. It’s like one of those books where you can change the head, middle and legs of a character.

    Even though what he did is creative, I think he should have asked the permission of the people who lived in the houses to put his photos up. I wouldn’t like a big photo of someone on my front gate, because it is kind of ruining the originality, clarity, and design of the gate and walls.


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