artwork by JR on academy of art rooftop

Artist JR’s Installation Hits the Streets of San Francisco, Atop One of Academy of Art University Building

If you are interested in San Francisco’s art scene, there is a cool event that you should not miss during the summer heatwave.

French artist, TED Prize winner, Oscar nominee, and one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2018, JR has come to share his wildly popular multimedia art installation, “The Chronicles of San Francisco.”

Now on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)—free of charge!—this exhibit reflects the versatile characters of the city through both animated and wheat-pasted murals.

Inspired by the influential artist Diego Rivera and his murals throughout the locality, “The mural aims to be a picture of society, not depicting good and bad, but rather showing that both sides are present in everyone,” said JR.

“Every person is presented at the same size, captured with the same light. No one is more important than another.”

– JR

The interactive mural highlights the immense diversity the City by the Bay, well known for its comprehensive feature of personalities, including California Governor Gavin Newsom and Golden State Warriors basketball star Draymond Green. Also included are members of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, doctors, swimmers, homeless men and women, shop vendors, drag queens, protesters, children, and many others.

Artist JR with Roberto de Angelis.
Photo by Camille Pajot, courtesy of

Art on Top

The artist has also put up on display large-scale wheat-pasted images in selected locations around the city. Academy of Art University hosts one of the images on the rooftop of its school building located at 180 New Montgomery in downtown San Francisco.

“We are excited to be a part of this project. This is especially meaningful to us because it happens on the 90th anniversary of Academy of Art University,” said Dr. Elisa Stephens, President of the Academy. “In many ways, the Academy and San Francisco have grown up together. And like this city and its people, we are proud to share the values of inclusion and diversity that have made this place a heaven for aspiring artists and designers.”

“The Chronicles of San Francisco” opened at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) on May 23, 2019, in the museum’s free-to-visit Roberts Family Gallery, and will run for one year until 2020.