“The picnic today was clearly forbidden and yet it was not shut down," he said.
Image via @JR
Just days after his billboard-sized photograph of Kikito (a one-year-old Mexican toddler) was removed from its position overlooking the U.S.-Mexico border in Tecate, the pseudonymous French artist JR has created another surprise for border patrol agents.
The Giant Picnic, JR's latest installation, is an epically long picnic table that extends equally across both sides of the border's steel barriers. It's adorned with a pair of strikingly sketched black-and-white eyes, and is a fully functional dining table (as evidenced by a picnic that took place on the artwork yesterday).
The eyes represent "the eyes of the dreamer" the artist explained on Instagram. The table is intended to present a gathering place where residents from both sides of the border can leave politics behind, he continued. "People eating the same food, sharing the same water, enjoying the same music,around the eye of a dreamer... we forgot the wall for a minute …"
Not much is known about JR's identity beyond his appearance and signature combination of sunglasses and fedora. But his mammoth installations have made a splash around the world, and the many times he's risked his life to create them have become legendary. His large-scale works aim to make social injustices impossible to ignore.
The Giant Picnic comes at a perfect time: when Trump is continuing to campaign for a wall along the Mexican border (which he insists Mexico will pay for), and a month after Trump ended DACA, the Obama-era "dreamer" program that protected more than 690,000 immigrants.
Following today's picnic, JR took to social media to share: "The picnic today was clearly forbidden, and yet it was not shut down. It's always worth trying."