Women Are Heroes: A Global Project By JR details the TED Prize winning French artist's magnificent project in a concise, beautifully illustrated account. Complete with photographs of all the mural-sized portraits pasted on the streets of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, Keny, Brazil, India, and Cambodia, the book also shares the stories of the women he depicts. The result is as celebratory as the project itself —a shinning example of the power of art to raise questions of freedom and identity.
Marco Berrebi contextualizes JR's work through three short chapters. He begins with a discussion of the streets, "The Biggest Art Gallery," and a brief overview of the artists career. Subsequent essays connect JR to other participatory art projects and clarify his intent. "What JR's work shows is in fact people telling a story," Berrebi writes, "their story."
Additional essays by Christian Caujolle and Fracncoise Docquiert explore JR's identity as an artist and his place in the history of portrait photography.
Mostly, it is the monumental effort in celebrating women in society is the key. For each "Action" (street intervention), the experience is detailed down to how frequently the women took role in placement of their portraits. JR's process is thus illuminated, as well as his ability to communicate through all steps of the project. The human aspect, understandably, shines brightest. Women Are Heroes functions not just as celebration of a brilliant and varied global exhibition, but as a document of how street artists work.
All images © JR
Women Are Heroes: A Global Project by JR
Text by Marco Berrebi
Published by Abrams