If you want your moment of fame, now is the time to get your face on the biggest billboard on earth, Times Square.
The project INSIDE OUT by French street artist and photographer JR gives everybody the opportunity to have his or her portrait taken in a photo booth on the spot. You can either choose to take your picture home with you and hang it over your bed, or paste it down to the square.
Where normally Times Square is the place of fast and ever-changing images of famous people and brands, this project is all about “the man in the street”.
The famous are high up and in flashy colors. The ordinary people are down on the street, in black and white, trampled by thousands of feet.
Yes, you get to be famous, in an anonymous way, that is. But it’s an ephemeral kind of fame because in the end your face fades away, your image gets worn out and eventually ripped apart.
There’s a chance however to be lifted up to the realm of the really famous. Every night, just before midnight, a selection of faces appears on the big electronic screens surrounding the square.
But here again, you will be a short-lived celebrity. At the stroke of midnight -remember what happened to Cinderella?- the spell is broken, your image disappears and you’re back to being one of the faceless crowd.
It surely is a fun project. Tourists are having a blast and get to take a picture of their picture on Times Square. And sitting down in a photo booth has always been a hilarious thing to do. There’s the hundreds of smiles and funny faces to show for it.
So if this collage of faces makes you think of some sort of memorial, or a wall of missing people, or wanted people, the happily dotted background is there to prove you’re wrong.
But, let’s “face” it: we all want to be famous. “We can be heroes just for one day”. So “strut down the streets and have your picture took”, glue your face “where the streets have no name”, get trampled (like any other day on Times Square)…and have some fun in the process.