JR at the Saatchi Gallery – the stories behind the shots in the artist’s own words

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The celebrated street artist takes us behind the camera.

As his long-delayed exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery – the largest solo museum exhibition to date for the French artist – opens this week, JR tells us the stories behind some of his iconic pictures.

Migrants, Mayra, Picnic across the Border, Tecate, Mexico—U.S.A., 2017 (above)

‘This project was at the border of Mexico and the US. We wanted to host a big picnic lunch to celebrate the installation of [my large-scale artwork of] the kid looking over the wall before we took it down. A “finissage”. It was completely illegal.

If you look on the left side, which is Mexico, people are sitting around the table that we hand-built. On the right side, which is the US, people are actually eating on a tarp because we were in the middle of the road. I could never have imagined that, for a moment, we could eat all together. As if there was no wall.’