Famed French Artist JR Exhibits at Phantom Galleries

Part of "Wrinkles of the City." Photo courtesy of the artist, JR.

2:42pm | The much celebrated TED Conference has set the city humming, with luminaries from the worlds of science, technology, medicine, art, entertainment and design rubbing elbows at our Downtown Convention Center. This year's presenters include Bobby McFerrin, celebrity chef Homaru Cantu of Chicago's Moto, Morgan Spurlock, famed theatrical director and designer Julie Taymor, Bill Gates, Jazon Mraz, Gen. Stanley McChrystal and famed street artist JR. More about him in a moment.

In addition to these more widely known individuals, there are epidemiologists, paper cutters, poets, instrumentalists, roboticists, historians, surgeons, educators and even a physicist or two. 

If you're thinking about popping down to the conference to catch one of the presentations, forget it. The event, while ostensibly open to the public, really isn't. While anyone can buy a ticket, tickets cost $6,000.  That's a good way to keep out the hoi polloi.

There is, however, a somewhat rare public and free event today and tomorrow. The above mentioned artist, JR, has taken over the Phantom Gallery space located at 170 The Promenade N., which is on the south east corner of Broadway across from The Cellar. The space has been opened to TED attendees since Tuesday, and opened today at noon for the rest of us.

The gallery space will remain open to the public today until 7 p.m. It will be open to the public again tomorrow from 10 a.m. to  7 p.m.

JR was selected as this year's TED Prize Winner. In addition to a fat check, winners get to make a "wish to change the world." His wish: "I wish for you to stand up for what you care about by participating in a global art project, and together we'll turn the world... INSIDE OUT."

This seems to fit with what he does: Large scale, and sometimes illegal, paper banners, mostly portraits, covering public spaces. His work has appeared throughout Europe, in the Middle East and the United States. His most recent effort, The Wrinkles of the City, was installed in Los Angeles in late February.

It is unclear how, exactly, he'll use the Long Beach space to kick off his 'wish' project, or if he'll be using it in some other way. The only way to find out is to go, which I intend to do. 


For more information about the TED Conference, visit TED.com. For more information about Phantom Galleries LA, visit PhantomGalleriesLA.com. For more about artist JR, visit JR-Art.net.

Celebrity sightings at the show today.

Celebrity sightings at the show today.

Celebrity sightings at the show today.

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