A Photographic Collage Puts a Powerful Face on a California Correctional Facility

Watch this amazing mural come together.

Photographer, filmmaker and “infiltrating” artist JR put his signature large-scale collage on the walls of California Correctional Institution: Tehachapi in Southern California, a maximum-security 4 facility. You may recognize JR’s work from the courtyard of the Louvre where he made the famous pyramid disappear with his magnificent photo collages. His 2017 documentary with Agnès Varda, Faces, Places, was nominated for an Oscar. After bringing his acclaimed mural work to the U.S.-Mexico border, he chose Tehachapi for his latest project.

According to his website, “JR and his team captured the portraits and stories of former and currently incarcerated citizens that are keenly focused on rehabilitation, as well as some of the prison staff, and pasted them with their help, as a large team, on the recreation space within CCI.

“The wheatpasting of 338 strips of paper was completed in a few hours thanks to the help of all the participants in the project, and more incarcerated men and staff, working together with JR’s team. The final installation shot was done from a birds-eye view with a drone.

“JR Mural app, available on the App Store, offers to meet and to hear these former and currently incarcerated men, as well as the prison staff who have participated in the project.”

You can watch a short trailer of the project coming together here.

Image courtesy of JR.