JR launches open Instagram appeal for new free photography class


French artist and photographer JR will train 12 budding photographers as part of a new free initiative to be launched in the suburb of Montfermeil, east of Paris, early next year. The artist, known for his large-scale public installations like the disappearance of the Louvre pyramid, called for applications on Instagram, adding that the initiative “is open to anyone determined to become an artist.”

The “Art and Image” project will take place from January to July at the Kourtrajmé School, a film school founded by the long-time collaborator and director of JR Ladj Ly, behind the 2019 film. Wretched. “I joined forces with Ladj Ly to show that there are alternatives [ways to learn] and to pass on, with my academic team, all my self-taught skills, ”JR said in the Instagram post.

Anyone over 18 without formal photography training is eligible, says project manager Farida Cagniard. The course focuses on photography, but people who specialize in other media such as painting and drawing can apply, says JR. “The school pays the entire registration fee, regardless of the [a candidate’s] resources and background, ”read a statement on the school’s website.

Potential applicants must complete an online application form by November 29, providing up to ten images and a two-minute video presentation. Cagniard and JR will be part of the interview jury.

The course will consist of different modules. “I’m going to invite Naomi Campbell to have the students learn how to do a photoshoot, with [representatives] of the Villa Medici in Rome who will learn how to present a case, ”JR told the French newspaper The Parisian. The largest US exhibit of JR to date is currently at the Brooklyn Museum.

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