This is art of our time. It is also completely timeless. I think Sister Wendy would agree (use your internet machine if you don’t know who she is). Our globe has never been more polarized across continents and countries than it is now. JR is bringing the world back together one portrait at a time. These portraits are then synthesized into massive portraits depicting a moment(um) for here and now.
We’re taking this in on the free First Saturday event at the museum. So it’s free!
Here is what the Brooklyn Museum has to say: “Over the past two decades, JR has expanded the meaning of public art through his ambitious projects that give visibility and agency to a broad spectrum of people around the world. Showcasing murals, photographs, videos, films, dioramas, and archival materials, JR: Chronicles is the first major exhibition in North America of works by the French-born artist. Working at the intersections of photography, social engagement, and street art, JR collaborates with communities by taking individual portraits, reproducing them at a monumental scale, and wheat pasting them—sometimes illegally—in nearby public spaces.
This soaring multimedia installation traces JR’s career from his early documentation of graffiti artists as a teenager in Paris to his large-scale architectural interventions in cities worldwide to his more recent digitally collaged murals that create collective portraits of diverse publics. The centerpiece of the exhibition is The Chronicles of New York City, a new epic mural of more than one thousand New Yorkers that is accompanied by audio recordings of each person’s story. All of the projects on view honor the voices of everyday people and demonstrate JR’s ongoing commitment to community, collaboration, and civic discourse.”
We’ll also take in the two portrait comparison of Jacques-Louis David Meets Kehinde Wiley. The museum has this to say: “Kehinde Wiley’s triumphant Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps (2005), a hallmark of our collection, comes face to face with the nineteenth-century painting on which it is based: Jacques-Louis David’s Bonaparte Crossing the Alps (1800–1). The unprecedented pairing of these two magisterial portraits, in the exhibition Jacques-Louis David Meets Kehinde Wiley, also marks the first time David’s original version of Bonaparte Crossing the Alps is on view in New York.
Seen together, the works by David and Wiley reveal how race, masculinity, power, and representation layer onto portraiture and shape the writing of history. Both paintings cast their protagonists—be it the French general Napoleon Bonaparte or an unnamed man in everyday streetwear—within a heroic tradition of equestrian portraiture. However, each artist defines an icon that reflects the unique political, historical, social, and artistic conditions of their day and age.”
Our plan: 5:30-7:30p – take in the exhibits.
Then walk to Screamers Pizzeria for inspired vegan pizza. We should be there by 7:45 or 8:00pm depending upon our stay at the museum.
Accessibility: Both the Brooklyn Museum and Screamers Pizzeria are accessible. The nearest accessible station is Prospect Park (B/Q/S). Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Ctr would be second best. (B/Q/2/3/4/5/LIRR).
More about the exhibits can be found here: https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/jr_chronicles
and here: https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/david_wiley