A new mural by Jean René, known as JR, recently appeared in the stadium of Pacaembu sports complex in São Paulo, Brazil. The French photographer and street artist famous throughout the world for his highly recognisable photographic “collages”, pays tribute to the city of São Paulo and one of its symbols: built in art deco style in 1930, the stadium was inaugurated ten years later and in 1950 it hosted the FIFA World Cup.
The mural was realised in collaboration with Galleria Continua and Galeria Nara Roesler. It celebrates the 80th anniversary since the inauguration of the stadium, which still represents a landmark for the inhabitants of the city. To realise the site-specific work, JR covered the historic stadium grandstand with 1480 strips of paper. The artist has depicted an eye looking upwards. Metaphorically, it is the gaze of São Paulo’s youth looking up at the sky full of hope and broken dreams. It pays tribute to the fearless yet disadvantaged Brazilian youth and their beloved football, a crucial discipline in the history of the nation.
Dignity, respect and solidarity are issues that echo in JR’s creative practice. In 2020, in Italy, he realised the cinematic action and performance “Omelia Contadina”: a “procession” crossed the Venice Film Festival to support the struggle of the small farmers and inhabitants of the Alfina Plateau, in Central Italy.