JR is a prolific French photographer who has left his mark on cities all over the world with his signature wheat pastings, enlarged portraits plastered in surprising locations from sidewalks and sides of buildings to vehicle and construction barriers. Lucky for New Yorkers, JR has graced the city with his photography many times and continues to add new pieces to our urban landscape. From the walls of Ellis Island’s abandoned hospital complex to the floor of Lincoln Center, here are 7 places JR has posted photographs in New York City:
As part of his worldwide series title Unframed, in 2014 JR installed 26 site specific photographs on the crumbling walls, windows, doors, floors and furniture of Ellis Island’s abandoned hospital complex on the south side of the island. The photographs are historical images that the artist picked from the Ellis Island archives. The haunting images were taken on the island when it served as an immigration center. To learn the story behind the images, and see all 26 parts of the installation for yourself, you can join an upcoming Unframed JR tour of the abandoned hospital complex, where a JR expert will bring the images to life with the real-life stories of their subjects.
Unframed pieces were also installed in Vevey, Switzerland, São Paulo, Brazil, Marseille, France, and Baden-Baden, Germany. In 2016, JR brought the project back to New York by pasting an image from Ellis Island on the side of a building in Tribeca. This image replaced another JR pasting of a ballerina. JR’s Ellis Island installation was also the subject of a documentary, title Ellis which starred Robert DiNero and was shot on location at the abandoned site.