He went into Israel and Palestine, and photographed people with matching occupations in each area, then put those images together – face to face – in a super large scale all over Israel and Palestine including on the wall.
The exhibition is now at the FOAM photography museum (both inside and out) and all over Amsterdam. You can see something about it being set up in a video (Dutch only, but still fun).
Because the photos are taken close up, really “in your face”, the people have all reacted strongly and the expressions are extreme. In the video (on the FOAM dutch site) even the photographer seems surprised at how people reacted.
The photo here is taken on the Noordermarkt, but apparently the city council has not reacted that well to the photos in other places, particularly on the Athenaeum bookshop in the city centre, referring to them as advertisements and demanding that they’re removed. According to the Volkskrant (translation mine)
The work of French street artist JR must be removed from the facade of the Athenaeum bookstore in Amsterdam. The City Council believes that the two photos of laughing spiritual leaders are “unacceptable advertisements”.
These and photos in other locations, for example as the nightclub Paradiso, must be removed within two weeks according the City Council. A permit should have been applied for before the photos were installed. The City Council threatens other measures, such as a fine of 15,000 euro.
The director of the Art Fonds has asked the city council to review the decision, he’s in a tricky situation because they funded JR, but are themselves funded by the city council. Overall he feels that the the rules and regulations are becoming tougher for artists, even though Amsterdam cries out for Art and Culture to be available.
I can’t find anything about any resolution to this case, I don’t normally pass through the centre – but I will just to see if the photos have survived. In my view it would really sad if they’ve been removed.