Street Artist JR’s Mexican Border Installation Ends With A Picnic On Both Side


By Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

In early September, a massive art installation appeared overnight on the Mexican side of the US border wall. Developed by street artist JR, it showed a child peering over the fence, looking at the United States. The boy is based on Kikito, a child JR met while scouting out a location for the piece in Tecate, Mexico. For nearly two months, the installation has inspired conversation about President Trump’s beloved border wall. Recently, the project came to a finish with a picnic on both sides.

When the installation first struck a chord, JR told The New Yorker, “Each time I’ve seen walls that have caught my attention, or that I’ve heard about a lot in the media, they would stick in my mind. I would even dream about it. When Trump started to talk a lot about a wall along the Mexican border, one day I woke up and I saw a kid looking over the wall. I was wondering, What is this kid thinking? What would any kid think? We know that a one-year-old doesn’t have a political vision, or any political point of view. He doesn’t see walls as we see them.”

MyModernMet reports that it took five months to find the right placement for the billboard. JR spent much of that time knocking on doors — which is how he met Kikito’s family. Shortly after, JR announced the location and posted the first photo of the artwork.

Within a matter of days, the border location because a pilgrimage site. People gathered on both sides, to converse, take photographs and meet with others. Now that the project has received the attention it deserves, the street artist and curator Pedro Alonzo (who helped organized the installation) hosted a picnic on both sides of the fence.

The event took place on October 8, 2017. A band played festive music as people joined together for the potluck lunch. Despite the fact that half of the band members stood on American soil and half on Mexican soil, the same music was played. That was a powerful statement in itself.

The artist’s initial goal was to get people to communicate and empathize with others in a way they might otherwise have. It seems as if this was accomplished. “What I’m hoping the most is not only that people will see the photo but that they’ll decide to go there by themselves,” said JR. “They’ll talk to Border Patrol, they’ll talk to people on the other side who they can see through the fence. That experience is intimate to each person who will see the piece. I won’t even hear about it.”

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In early September, French street artist JR created an art installation near the Mexico-US border.

View from the Mexican side

A post shared by JR (@jr) on

After posting the photos on Instagram, other people began to flock to Tecate, Mexico.

A post shared by JR (@jr) on

Last day ✌️

A post shared by JR (@jr) on

Farewell Kikito @jr #tecate

A post shared by Pedro Alonzo (@trucatriche) on

To celebrate the end of the installation, JR hosted a potluck on both sides of the wall:

A post shared by Pedro Alonzo (@trucatriche) on

Kikito and his mother at the picnic on the border

A post shared by Pedro Alonzo (@trucatriche) on

La tuba fue indispensable

A post shared by Pedro Alonzo (@trucatriche) on

Thanks to all the daydreamers that joined us yesterday ? #PicNicAtTheBorder ? @marc

A post shared by JR (@jr) on

h/t MyModernMet


I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here

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