13. JR at the Bowery Mural
On September 26th, the French artist JR completed a new work at the Bowery Mural at Houston and Bowery called “Guns in America,” produced in partnership with TIME magazine. The work features 245 people whom JR, his team, and TIME journalists met across the United States on all sides of the gun issue, including “veterans and teachers, hunters and doctors, people afraid that guns may kill their children and people afraid they won’t have guns to protect their children,” writes Edward Felsenthal, TIME’s Editor-in-Chief. The participants in the painting says JR, “will always be part of the same mural even if they don’t share the same ideas. I really hope they will actually listen to each other, and I hope that people will join this conversation.”
JR was chosen for both his outside perspective as well as his long history doing social conscious, participatory art. He made his mark putting up his signature large photographs on the Palestinian/Israeli border wall, in the favelas of Rio, and all over New York City and Paris.
By the morning of September 28th, someone had tagged the painting in red with the number 11, to mark the number of fatalities in the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. In addition, a bouquet of red roses was left leaning against the mural with rose petals scattered on the sidewalk. As of the morning of publication, the number 11 was still on the mural. The mural will be up through November 15th.