Directed by Tasha Van Zandt
After a first mural in Les Bosquets, a neighborhood near Paris where he has worked for many years, JR chose San Francisco. A city very rich in contrasts, whose recent history could be told in a powerful way through a mural. Since the visit of Diego Rivera in 1931, San Francisco has a long muralist tradition. The city features immense innovation and wealth as well as one of the highest rates of homelessness in the country. In, 2018, JR and his team spent a month roaming the city of San Fransisco, parking their 53′ trailer truck in 24 different locations, to capture anyone who wished to participate, directly from the streets. As a result, over 1,200 people have been filmed, photographed and interviewed; each person choosing the way they are represented in the fresco which is now currently on display at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
The crowd-depicting panorama is a technical marvel that captures the range of humanity seen in the peaks and valleys of SF. Using stills and video, JR photographed every stratum of society: from the down-and-out to tech bros to socialites and local celebrities (the Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, Governor Gavin Newsom, the Golden State Warrior Draymond Green and the writer Armistead Maupin, whose novel Tales of the City is echoed in the mural’s title).
Tasha Van Zandt is most recently a Sundance Institute Fellow and member of the Sundance Music and Sound Design lab at Skywalker Ranch. She also collaborated with JR to document the creation of TIME Magazine’s Emmy-Nominated Guns in America project and traveled throughout the country documenting varied perspectives on gun control from local communities.