The stories and faces of San Francisco, free to experience at SFMOMA.


The Chronicles of San Francisco
May 23, 2019 – August 2020
Floor 1, Roberts Family Gallery

Celebrate the voices of our extraordinary, unique, and diverse city in The Chronicles of San Francisco, by internationally recognized artist JR. Over the course of two months in early 2018, the artist set up a mobile studio in twenty-two locations around San Francisco, where he filmed and interviewed nearly twelve hundred people from across the city’s multifaceted communities. In the completed work, a digital mural scrolls across a seamless bank of screens, bringing together the faces and untold stories of the people we encounter every day. Presented in SFMOMA’s soaring Roberts Family Gallery, this work is free and accessible to the public.

Born in France in 1983, JR began tagging buildings as a young teenager. Soon he shifted from graffiti to photo-based work, creating images of faces, printing them on large sheets of inexpensive paper, and pasting them on buildings. Although he has completed many such projects around the world, this is his first major installation in San Francisco, and uniquely draws inspiration from Diego Rivera’s murals found throughout the city.

Exhibition Preview

black and white mural filled with some people reading and some protesting
two people posing for a photograph on a sloped city street
a white truck with mural on side with intersection if foreground
a person dressed in eccentric prints is interviewed on a sidewalk
a propped up newstand in a green screen studio

JR, The Chronicles of San Francisco, 2018 (detail); photo: courtesy JR-art.net

JR and Roberto de Angelis at work in San Francisco, 2018; photo: Camille Pajot, courtesy JR-art.net

JR Studio truck in Chinatown, San Francisco, 2018; photo: Lyle Owerko, courtesy JR-art.net

Eyal Levy interviewing a mural subject in San Francisco, 2018; photo: Marc Azoulay, courtesy JRart.net

Inside JR’s Studio truck, 2018; photo: Marc Azoulay, courtesy JR-art.net


Artist JR discusses his monumental new interactive mural project featuring photographs and audio recordings of 1,200 residents of the city of San Francisco. Watch behind-the-scenes footage as JR reveals what it’s like to interview total strangers, break boundaries, and create a deeply diverse “public mirror” for the community.Additional camera: Romain Deceuninck, Tasha Van Zandt

JR: Chronicles of San Francisco

This rich volume features all the individual portraits and selected stories in Chronicles of San Francisco, as well as a removable poster showcasing the entire mural.
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The Chronicles of San Francisco is made possible by Lynne and Marc Benioff.

Generous support for the exhibition is provided by Ivette and Charles Esserman and Laura Scher and Ian Altman. Additional support is provided by Wayee Chu and Ethan Beard. SFMOMA’s Art Commissioning Endowed Fund is supported by Roberta and Steve Denning, Patricia W. Fitzpatrick, Diana Nelson and John Atwater, and Denise Littlefield Sobel.

Header image: JR, The Chronicles of San Francisco, 2018 (detail); photo: courtesy JR-art.net