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Arts & Exhibits

Slum graffiti artist wins $100,000 TED prize


Unaware that he'd been nominated for a prize that previously went to former President Bill Clinton, anonymous graffiti artist JR was caught "kind of stunned" by the New York Times.  He admitted he hadn't had time to think of a wish yet, referring to the TED program's offer to promote one social cause for each recipient.  JR's identity will remain hidden even as TED, which provides free, thought-provoking lecture programming online, hands him the $100,000 payout.  From the crumbling villages of the Middle East to the overcrowded slums of Africa, JR's looming photography can be seen where it's least expected.  He works outside the reach of the authorities but within the grasp of local community members, who function as short-term models and artists.  His new global art project, "Women Are Heroes," promotes women's rights through video and the large-scale photo projects he's become known for.  Although JR himself never appears on camera, the trailer gives audiences an idea of how much work and coordination goes into each installment.  Read more about JR and the TED prize here.