JR exhibits freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors.
After finding a camera in the Paris metro in 2001, he traveled Europe to meet those who express themselves on walls and facades, and pasted their portraits in the streets, undergrounds and rooftops of Paris.
In 2006, he created Portrait of a Generation, portraits of suburban “thugs” that he posted, in huge formats, in the bourgeois districts of Paris.
In 2007, with Marco, he made Face 2 Face, the biggest illegal exhibition ever. JR posted huge portraits of Israelis and Palestinians face to face in eight Palestinian and Israeli cities.
In 2008, he embarked on a long international trip for Women Are Heroes, in which he underlines the dignity of women who are often the targets of conflicts. That year he also created The Wrinkles of the City, a project that took him to Cartagena (Spain), Shanghai, Los Angeles, Havana, Berlin and Istanbul in which he emphasizes on the transformation of neighborhoods and cities through the wrinkles of their elderly.
In 2010, his film Women Are Heroes was presented at Cannes. The same year, JR created Unframed, a project in which he uses images that are not his, by famous or unknown photographers, and reframes them in a new context, on a larger scale, giving them a new meaning.
In 2011 he received the TED Prize, after which he created Inside Out, an international participatory art project that allows people worldwide to get their picture taken and paste it to support an idea and share their experience – as of December 2016, over 320,000 people from more than 139 countries have participated, through mail or gigantic photobooths installed in museum or streets all over the world, from Times Square to Fukushima.