Expo 2 rue
It all began in the year 2000 at the Charles-de-Gaulle–Etoile subway station in Paris. JR, then 17 years old, discovered a camera that had been forgotten there: a Samsung equipped with a powerful flash. JR, who until then had been interested in graffiti, decided to use the camera to document street artists in action, most often at night. For three years, he made a kind of reportage, frequently presenting the resulting images in the streets and on the rooftops around Paris. To save money, he pasted up Xeroxes of them, then spray painted frames around them so they would not be confused with ads or political posters. He thus created the illegal exhibition “Expo 2 Rue,” turning the city into a gallery beneath the open sky.