JR + josé parlá: wrinkles of the city project in havana, cuba
JR + josé parlá: wrinkles of the city project in havana, cuba JR + josé parlá: wrinkles of the city project in havana, cuba
may 10, 2012

JR + josé parlá: wrinkles of the city project in havana, cuba

‘the wrinkles of the city’: havana, cuba by JR and josé parlá, 2012
school children pose next to one of the pieces from the project’s newest installment
all images © JR and courtesy arrested motion



french creative JR has traveled to havana, cuba in order develop his latest installment of the series ‘the wrinkles of the city’. in this particular project, the french creative has collaborated with brooklyn-based artist josé parlá to conceive of and put in place this expansive public art project. JR is currently photographing the city’s elderly inhabitants, then creating gigantic prints from the sitter’s likeliness. these massive images are then wheat-pasted onto the facades of havana’s building exteriors and decorated with the swirling paint strokes of parlá.

the side of a retail space has been decorated with the image of an elderly man’s one-toothed grin



the two artists have introduced to the bustling city a selection of pictured individuals from the area upon a wide selection of surfaces, then complimented by swirling calligraphic markings. the artists’ choice to plaster the likeliness of elderly inhabitants upon imperfect surfaces, with the addition of swirling and free-flowing lines, further enhance the depth and tactile quality of each image.

an additional paste from ‘the wrinkles of the city’ in havana, cuba



the wrinkles and time-enabled imperfections of each individual pictured are complimented in this simultaneous appreciation of the city’s architecture — in the end, the aged faces and of the people upon the walls tell the tale of the life that exists within each structure. like each of the ‘wrinkles of the city’ installations, this particular project is apolitical, allowing space for public interpretation as JR and parlá present the aged community within havana, enabling an encounter between the subject and observer, grounding the passerby in the humanity of the region.

the process for pasting each of the works was time intensive and drew a crowd to observe the team’s steady progress



this segment of the ongoing series has been installed for the tropical city’s 11th oncena bienal de la habana, cuba which takes place between may 11th and june 11th, 2012. if you are interested in learning more about this work, see designboom’s coverage of JR’s ‘the wrinkles of the city’ projects in shanghai and los angeles.

installation and finished project perspectives of one mural from the series

two havana residents now grace an exterior corner of an old building

a passerby pictured with one of the works

the uneven surfaces upon each photograph is applied gives a greater depth and tactile quality to each image

a work in progress

josé parlá, a ‘wrinkles of the city’ participant and JR (from left to right) pose for a photo in havana

via arrested motion





  • Touching project!
    Wrinkles filled with stories, with so much to teach! Cuban people, humble but happy, emotions well shown by each picture!!!!


    Boca do Lobo - Exclusive Design says:
  • wow, hooray. Wish I could get there………..the festival starts tmrw!

    Richard says:
  • beautiful – thank you JR & Jose

    lelliB says:
  • Love these!! Really want to visit Cuba….

    jgTRWxM says:
  • Wonderful celebration of the elderly and disenfranchised. Very sensitive work and an examble of what could be done all over the world.
    Yea! for Jose and JR

    Brent Blake says:

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