A 75-Foot Ballerina in Tribeca

Curators’ Corner

A 75-Foot Ballerina in Tribeca

Renowned French artist JR proves the undeniable beauty of urban street art yet again with his latest work in Tribeca, a towering ballerina elegantly suspended in mid air on a 100-by-75-foot wall at 100 Franklin Street.


The piece was commissioned by art-aware developer DDG and installed on the side of the new residential and retail property. In the past, DDG has partnered with the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Andy Warhol Foundation.

The ballerina is almost identical to a promotional photo used for his documentary Les Bosquets. The feature film, which premiered this spring at the Tribeca Film Festival, is based on a New York City Ballet (NYCB) piece of the same name and inspired by the 2005 riots in the Parisian suburb of Montfermeil. It was actually a full-on collaboration with NYCB that stemmed from the artist’s previous temporary installation featuring a series of larger-than-life photos of the company’s dancers displayed at the Lincoln Center.


JR has been extremely active across the region. In July, he unveilved a 15-foot mural in Philadelphia as part of the Mural Arts Program’s “Open Source” project. A month prior, Baltimore became the latest city to join his ongoing “Inside Out” project, a global art initiative that has seen more than 200,000 people emulate his unmistakable style of portraiture. In April, JR partnered with the New York Times for their “Walking New York” cover project, and last year he held a photo exhibition on Ellis Island.

The Tribeca Citizen documented the ballerina mural throughout its creation. According to artnet, it’s expected to remain indefinitely, “or until the paper inevitably succumbs to the elements.” While it’s saddening to know that such a masterpiece is destined for extinction, we imagine that the weathering process will only add to its soulful distinction.