Artist Behind 200 Clarendon Mural Is Bringing Another Art Project to Boston

JR is hosting an iteration of his worldwide "Inside Out" project in Roxbury, inviting participants to take self-portraits inside a mobile photo booth.

inside out photo booth boston

JR’s ‘Inside Out’ photo booth truck is coming to Roxbury / Photo provided

A few weeks ago, the French street artist known as JR took Boston by surprise.

Unannounced, one of his signature large-scale photorealistic murals began unfolding on the facade of one of the Boston skyline’s signature elements—the skyscraper formerly known as the John Hancock Tower, recently renamed 200 Clarendon.

“I’m already convinced that the piece has a little bit of genius about it,” proclaimed Sebastian Smee, Boston Globe‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic, even before the piece was finished.

The work is now complete, on display for an indeterminate period of time, but JR is not done with Boston just yet.

The artist is bringing another temporary artwork to town, but this time he’s giving forward notice—in fact, this project depends on the public’s participation.

On Wednesday, October 7, JR will host an iteration of his worldwide “Inside Out” project in Roxbury, bringing a photo booth truck to capture and instantly print out large-scale portraits of people that attend the pop-up. The black-and-white prints will then be pasted on the grounds of the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library, creating a collective portrait of the community, titled “The Faces of Dudley.”

JR’s vision for “Inside Out” won the 2011 TED Prize, which granted him an investment of $1 million to realize the worldwide photo project. Since then, iterations of the project have taken place in 124 countries, resulting in more than 200,000 individual portraits. Each collection of portraits is documented, archived, and exhibited on the project’s website.

In addition to the portraits, local arts nonprofit Now and There Inc. and mobile creative lab UP Truck will collect stories from participants in Roxbury that will later be compiled into a book and text-based project.

Free, Wednesday, October 7, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library, 65 Warren St., Roxbury.