What does Bill Clinton have in common with 27-year-old French street artist "JR"? No, not some sex thing: As of today, they've both won the TED prize, a $100,000 award for "exceptional individuals." Want to see JR's art?
JR works mainly in slums around the world—Brazil, Cambodia, and Kenya, for example—transforming the buildings in poor neighborhoods with huge, blown-up photographs of the residents plastered to the exterior. In some cases, the pictures serve as building material—in Kenya, the vinyl photographs became new, waterproof roofs for the residents' homes.
Besides handing the money, the TED people—who also put on a series of lectures you can catch on YouTube—ask the winners to make "one wish big enough to change the world." (I know, I know. But their hearts are in the right place!) Clinton, who won the award in 2007, wished for people "to help create a better future for Rwanda by assisting my foundation, in partnership with the Rwandan Government, to build a sustainable, high quality rural health system for the whole country."
JR hasn't had time to think of a wish yet—he's currently in Shanghai, working on a project—but told The New York Times that "it would undoubtedly involve his kind of guerrilla art." The money, too, would be put toward a more ambitious project.
A few more of JR's photos below.