"Sport must be seen as an art producer and an opportunity for art. It produces beauty since it fathers the athlete, a living sculpture. It gives opportunities to beauty through the buildings dedicated to it, the shows and festivities it provokes." – Pierre de Coubertin

For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, the IOC is inviting an artist in this artists-in-residence programme to give his interpretation of the Games, both as a sporting occasion and as a source of inspiration.

For the first Games ever in South America, JR envisages an ambitious and new intervention in the heart of the city of Rio de Janeiro, to the scale that represent the Olympic Games to the world and people.

Inside Out Project

In 2011, JR was awarded the TED Prize. He launched Inside Out, a global participatory art project whose objective is to “change the world”. Inside Out gives everyone the chance to receive their own portrait and pass on a message they think is important. People share their story and transform a personal message into a public work of art. Over 300,000 people in 129 countries have already taken part. Every action carried out around the world by the Inside Out group is recorded, saved and published on the internet

The aim is to involve everyone associated with the Olympics in the Inside Out project, sharing the Olympic spirit by allowing everyone to use their faces to express themselves and take part in an artistic project on a global scale. To Pierre de Coubertin, “Olympism overturns barriers. It claims the air and the light on behalf of all.” These actors, be they athletes, trainers, spectators, residents of the host city, visitors, passers-by, figures from the side-lines, officials, supporters, fans or members of the Olympic family, will all contribute to the success of the Games and thereby deserve to be highlighted. These portraits outdoors and displayed on this online gallery below embodies the universality of the Games.


Photobooth Truck

Participants step into a photo booth on a specially built truck designed to look like an immense mobile camera. Their photo is taken. A large-format back and white poster is instantly printed. The subjects are then invited to paste up their poster in the surrounding urban space to be part of a collaborative piece of art. The participants receive their portrait by e-mail. A gallery of all the portraits is posted on this dedicated website below.


At the Maracanã stadium (27 July – 3 August)
The truck will take “behind-the-scenes” portraits of the cast, technicians and extras during the course of rehearsals. The idea is to record all of these “faces from the side-lines” who will play their part in making the Games a success.

At Praça Maua (6-14 August)
The truck will take portrait shots of visitors, spectators and city dwellers.

In the Olympic Village (15-21 August)
The truck will take up position right in the middle of the Village, which will be home to 10,500 athletes from every continent during the Games.


For the first time we have decided to learn a bit more about Inside Out participants - who make the Olympics in Rio - and to share their stories. Here are their portraits.

I am Sofia. It's my first time volunteering. I will be part of one of the choreographies in the opening ceremony. For me this is so special because I have been dancing all my life, since I was a little girl. Now I'll be able to tell everyone that I danced in the opening ceremony of the Olympics in the Maracanã! This is so important for me! This is a global event, all eyes will be focused here, and I am here, I feel special and so happy to represent the culture of my country! So my expression for my photo will be a happy one! I loved the Inside Out Project.

My name is Felipe, I am volunteering in the communication department in the Olympics and it's the first time I volunteer. To be part of this event is really important for my career and will definitely add to my curriculum.  I loved the idea of the IOP. It will give such a cool visibility to all of us working backstage. I love how the walls around here are becoming! Congratulations for the project! 

The Giants

The idea is to photograph athletes whose identity is blurred behind the “perfect motion” from an instantly recognisable Olympic event: diving, the high jump and the swimming section of the triathlon.

Rather than working with star athletes whose success makes them household names, JR is interested in athletes who are little-known in the eyes of the world yet sublimate the physical language of sport and thus form a distillation of the universality of the Olympic movement.

The images obtained are thus being installed in black and white on ultra-large scaffolds which will themselves form an integral part of the installation, being the only things capable of supporting such large pictures. Each installation offer a plurality of viewpoints from both up close and far away.

The Flamengo Giant

High jump performed by Mohamed YOUNES IDRISS, 27, SUD. The athlete lives and trains in Cologne, Germany. He missed out on qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics after suffering a knee injury a few days before a qualifying competition. His sporting honours include winning a silver medal at the 2013 Arab Championships with a jump of 2.24 m; he also won gold at the 2011 African Games in Maputo with a jump of 2.25 m, a national record which he equalled in both 2012 and 2013 before beating it by a centimetre the following year. On 27 May 2015, he cleared 2.28 m at a meeting in Namur, thus qualifying for the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. He leaves Sudan in 2011 after being spotted by the IAAF. He was offered a scholarship to join a training center in Dakar where he improves his results. In 2013 he is spotted again by the IAAF, the Sudanese left Senegal to integrate the global center of high-level height in Cologne, Germany . For more please read here.

The Flamengo Giant can be found at Avenida Rui Barbosa, 170 - Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22250-020.

The Barra da Tijuca Giant

Dive performed by Cleuson LIMA DO ROSARIO 31, Brazil. A Brazilian who lives and works in France, Lima now only dives for fun. Although a member of the 2004 Olympic diving team, he was not picked as one of the three athletes who represented Brazil at that year’s Athens Olympics. Cleuson LIMA DO ROSARIO came 3rd at the Brazilian National Championships in 2003 , 2004 and 2005.

The Barra da Tijuca Giant can be found at Quebra mar / Avenida do Pepê, 1-159 - Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22620-170.

The Botafogo Bay Giant

Triathlon (swimming) performed by Léonie PERIAULT, 22, France. A member of the French triathlon team of Poissy since 2015, Léonie has been a triathlete for the past nine years. Originally a swimmer, she took part in her first triathlon out of curiosity in 2007 at an event organised by the Versailles Triathlon Club near her home. She joined the Club’s new junior section the next year. Since then, she has won a number of titles in junior categories including the French Junior Championship (2013), as well as finishing runner-up in the World U23 Championships and taking second place in the World Championships in the Women’s Elite category (2016), in which she also hopes to book her ticket to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. For more please read here.

Le Giant de la baie de Botafogo se trouve sur la Plage de Botafogo, Avenida das Nações Unidas - Glória, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20021-140.

Three locations have been selected around Rio; in Flamengo, Barra da Tijuca and Botafogo. JR has more than anything imagined a new and exerimental way of intervening in the urban environment.

About JR

The artist JR owns the biggest art gallery in the world. He exhibits in the streets of the world, making art for all and catching the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors. From his very beginning when he found a camera on the Paris subway to the present days with projects like WOMEN ARE HEROES, THE WRINKLES OF THE CITY, UNFRAMED JR has been invited to make and share art all around the world.