If you have been strolling around Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice in the last few months and haven’t noticed the mesmerizing eyes wheat pasted on a prominent wall staring at you then you’ve been snoozing.
The eyes are the work of the French artist JR who has become famous for his wheat pasting across all corners of the globe, from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro to the walls of the River Seine in Paris and beyond. His latest project, Wrinkles of the City, originated in Shanghai, but has now been transported to be appearing in various locations around Los Angeles.
What’s even more interesting though is that in Venice Beach JR has decided to borrow the eyes from long-time Venice local, and previous New York famous artistic face Jim Budman. Budman owns an art gallery in the neighborhood and is an artist of huge interest, a filmmaker fascinated with documenting life in all its minutiae, and owner of reels upon reels of fascinating reportage. So JR’s choice to photograph him is a perfect one as it conveys his own message of ‘incredible life’ written across urban landscapes and the experiences of everyday people, which is in turn the purpose of this ‘Wrinkles’ project. But like Rockwell, when it comes to strolling Abbot Kinney, I always feel like somebody’s watching me.