JR wins TED Prize, comes with $100k

Amazing news this week about JR, the French photographer/street artist. He has just won the TED Prize, a $100,000 prize (to be used for some sort of positive purpose, not just to buy an amazing car) from the people who put on the TED conferences. TED have done a nice interview with the artist on their website. Ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you how I always say I am somehow mentally incapable of determining if a photograph is “good” or not, but I’m told that JR is a good photographer and he definitely is doing some important work trying to help people.

The prize was announced in an article in The New York Times. Here’s the start of the article:

It’s not common for important philanthropic prizes to go to people whose work involves criminal trespass and who make statements like the following: “You never know who’s part of the police and who’s not.”

But the TED conference, the California lecture series named for its roots in technology, entertainment and design, said on Tuesday that it planned to give its annual $100,000 prize for 2011 — awarded in the past to figures like Bill Clinton, Bono and the biologist E. O. Wilson — to the Parisian street artist known as J R, a shadowy figure who has made a name for himself by plastering colossal photographs in downtrodden neighborhoods around the world. The images usually extol local residents, to whom he has become a Robin Hood-like hero.

Read more…

So congratulations to JR. This is some great news.

Photo by F4BZ3F4B