All image rights reserved to JR or their respective owner.
Originally founded in 1984, TED has become a global innovation leader in fields that surpass its original scope as a source for technology, entertainment, and design; in fact, the TED coalition and its associated programs have secured their place at the forefront of innovation and have featured some of the most forward thinkers of our time. Beginning in 2005, the finest of these thinkers have been awarded with the prestigious TED Prize. The TED Prize awards individuals with “far-reaching impact” a grant of $100,000.00 to execute and realize their paradigmatic dreams — the winner of the 2011 TED prize and the subject of today’s Ballista Magazine feature is street artist JR, an anonymous photographer that utilizes super-imagery to make incredibly strong cultural, social, and political statements.
With this award, JR has joined an elite fraternity of past TED winners that include notable philanthropists, scientists, inventors, social activists, and artists (even Bono and Bill Clinton!). The award is one of the more prestigious awards in contemporary culture and it is a monumental achievement for any artist, especially an artists whose work is typically relegated to the realm of crime and/or deviance. As major advocates of street art and graffiti, we at Ballista Magazine recognize the incredible gravity of these statements and applaud the TED coalition for their open-mindedness in their jury selection.
For more of JR’s incredible work, check out his photography portfolio on his website or his award feature on the TED blog. We at Ballista Magazine sincerely congratulate JR for this prestigious award and would like to congratulate the street art community on a major milestone in the history of this often-overlooked art. And while we are still unsure of the identity of JR, we think that it is oddly coincidental that the author of this feature’s initials are – you guessed it – JR. Now we just need need to decide how to spend that grant money…