French photographer and street artist JR has taken over the Paris railways with his evocative artwork. Following in the footsteps of legendary photographers like Richard Avedon and Yann Arthus-Bertrand, JR’s work flows through 11 metro and RER stations. As part of an ongoing project by the Paris transit operation RATP, the artist’s giant poster art will pepper the network until February 2019.
In classic JR style, the photographs focus on a key part of human anatomy—the eyes. Both observing commuters and inviting them in, the eyes of each subject are an expressive look at humanity. The series, titled Voyage avec d’autres (Travelling with others), asks the public to ruminate on the encounters they experience while using public transportation. By using models of varying ages and ethnicities, JR pushes viewers to think about the positive and negative expectations placed on strangers they encounter along their daily commute.
The exhibition will continue to evolve in the coming months, as JR will return to rotate new imagery in and out of the stations. To stimulate further interaction between the public and the installation, JR will be taking photographs directly in the station. This will transform spectators into models, furthering JR’s cyclical game between the observer and the observed.