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A Look at the Sage, Storied Buildings of the Street Artist JR

People gain wrinkles with age, and, according to French street artist JR, so do buildings. In his ongoing project, which he calls "The Wrinkles Of The City," he combines old buildings around the world with the elderly faces of those who have seen these cities transformed. By pasting giant portraits of these older, elegant, and deeply "wise" faces onto architecture with equal grace and character, JR is raising the question: are we losing a hard-won wisdom in every weathered brick that's replaced with something new, like glass?

The Wrinkles project started in 2008, first in Cartagena, Columbia, and has just recently landed in Berlin, with stops in Shanghai, China, Los Angeles, and Havana, Cuba, along the way. But JR's work has been gaining worldwide attention for years; in another 2008 project, the politically charged "Face 2 Face," he pasted huge portraits of Israeli and Palestinian faces together across eight Palestinian and Israeli cities. Amazingly, such large-scale, lofty ideas started from a single camera JR happened upon one day on a French subway car. View more of his work on his official site and watch his TED talk from 2011, when he won the TED Prize, right this way.

—Spencer Lamm

· Wrinkles In The City [WHUDAT]
· JR's TED Prize wish: Use art to turn the world inside out [TED TALKS]
· JR [jr-art]