The semi-anonymous French artist JR is a lithe, fedora-topped presence in more than just art. He dances through the worlds of social activism, community engagement, political process, and fine-art photography with what seems like a deft, imperceptible ease. The public works of the self-coined “photograffeur” (part photographer, part graffiti artist) speak to art as action, where the formation of the piece means as much to his world as the final product of the piece itself. And now, as one of the world’s preeminent artists working truly in and with the public sphere, JR seems to have found his niche. But it was a series of events, some entirely happenstance, that led the artist to this position as our favorite art-activist. The French street artist started tagging the streets of Paris in the late '90s, and has since risen to international fame with his large-scale photos pasted across the globe, his "Inside Out" project. On Friday, JR is headed to London for a two-part solo show at Lazarides Rathbone Gallery called "JR: ACTIONS." The show includes an "Inside Out" installation where locals can decorate the city with their faces. In anticipation of his upcoming show, here is The Art Evolution of JR.

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