French street artist JR has struck again. He’s been traveling the world for his project, “Inside Out,” and taking large photos of people to paste on the side of buildings. In the latest edition, he installed the image of a Mexican toddler peering curiously from the Mexican side of the border over the wall it shares with the United States.
The New Yorker interviewed JR to ask him about the project, especially poignant because of recent discourse in American politics involving immigration policy. United States President Donald Trump has made it clear that he supports tougher border regulations with Mexico. In an often-quoted campaign promise, Trump proposed a massive, “impenetrable” wall along the entire southern border of the United States. This plan has been seen by many as extreme or foolish and a large number of Mexican-American immigrants have been offended by his harsh statements on the topic.
JR’s work brings a different light to the conversation. As he told The New Yorker, “[my work] didn’t bring a political conversation, but a human conversation. ‘What is this kid thinking?’ It was really just a love message. No hate debate.” A photo JR posted of two U.S. border patrol guards looking at the image has already received more than 83,000 likes on Instagram since being posted a week ago. However, above all, the artist hopes people will not only look at the photo but “decide to go there by themselves. That experience is intimate to each person who will see the piece.” The artwork, built in the Mexican city of Tecate, will be in place until October 2.
Read more at The New Yorker.