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Problems and Solutions: Knocking Down Walls with JR in Italy

Juxtapoz // Saturday, 11 Sep 2010

Fame Fest
creator Angelo reports:

“One thing Southern Italians are famous for is their improvisation skills. There are no job opportunities for youngsters and if you don’t want to work your ass in the countryside - which weirdly looks uncool these days - and you don’t feel like going North to find a shitty job, you have to be creative and improvise to get to the end of the month.


“That’s why the limit between legality and illegality in Southern Italy is more elastic…improvisation is indeed, the only key of Fame Festival and legality has never been a friend. Whatever you see in these nice and clean pictures on the internet is the result of really fucked up situations and hundreds of crazy tricks to find the one very specific solution to make it all work each time.

“Sometimes you get to the wall and you realize that the scaffolding you put up is not tall enough. Problem: the artist might get nervous


“Solution: call the guy with the cherry pickers. Realize that there is no way in for such a big car, destroy the wall of the neighbors while they sleep, get in with the van.




“The artist starts painting or, as in this case, pasting up a huge picture. It all goes back to normal. You’re on the elevator assisting him and you start hearing a lady screaming from very far away, she has to be the owner of the wall we teared down and she’s coming to kick our asses.


Problem: the artist might get worried.


Solution: you go down fast, you study the subject really quickly and find the right words to cheer her up with the promise that you’ll put the wall up again when the work is done.



“The pasting goes on and it all feels good again…that’s when you realize you’re an idiot and you measured the wall wrong, the picture printed by the artist wont reach the other end of the wall and it will look like shit


Problem: the artist might start to seriously hate you.


Solution: you go to the printing place in town to make some more strips.


“It’s at the shop that you figure out that their printer sucks, and the prints are looking really bad, the toner is not making it and there are white lines everywhere. This is the point where you’ve created too much of a mess, it can't get worse, then this and whatever comes up, it will have to work.


Problem: the artist is outside waiting for you and fighting himself not to beat you up.


Solution: you correct the strips with a black marker and pretend it’s all cool.


Only in the very end of all this tragedy, you can finally go to the blog and post pictures of another great piece of art.


“This is the very first picture pasted by JR which was not shot by him, it was shot somewhere in Russia and pasted here. It talks about a problem that, unfortunately, has no possible improvised solutions. This is part of JR's new big-scale project called 'Unframed' [More info here]


More on Fame Fest at




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