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Viva la Revolución Artist JR Wins TED Prize

Artist JR's work on the corner of C Street and Fifth Avenue in San Diego.

Credit: Geoff Hargadon

Above: Artist JR's work on the corner of C Street and Fifth Avenue in San Diego.

This is great news! The French graffiti artist known simply as JR has won the TED Prize, an annual award that comes with $100,000 and the opportunity to "wish" or devote funds to a humanitarian project of the winner's choosing. Past winners include Bill Clinton, Bono, biologist E. O. Wilson, and chef Jamie Oliver.

JR's work is currently on view in MCASD's "Viva la Revolución" exhibit of street art. You can also see his work downtown on the corners of C Street and 5th Avenue.

We had JR on These Days when Viva first opened, along with curator Pedro Alonzo and Shepard Fairey. During the show, Fairey said he thought JR was doing some of the most important street art anywhere in the world.

The New York Times article on the announcement is great because it describes how JR wore sunglasses during a SKYPE call with the TED prize committee, until he decided he could trust them.

TED is a non-profit devoted to "ideas worth spreading" but the organization is probably best known by its TED Conferences, which feature innovative thinkers and doers, "who are challenged to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes."

Congrats to JR!

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