"If you look here, there's a baby being born! Right now, as we're talking. You see," exclaimed artist, JR, looking back at his 200 foot animated mural.
From a live birth to a dancing ballerina, JR's mural is a scrolling video collage of more than 1,200 people, whom he filmed in 22 locations throughout San Francisco last year.
"It's like a giant puzzle, where everyone has to go at the place where they decided, and then I composed the mural around them," he explained.
Born in France, JR exhibits art all over the world. He's always disguised in a hat and sunglasses, in case his installations are seen as a crime instead of art.
"Pasting and installation in the street are seen in certain places, like here, as contemporary art and in other places as a crime. And I'm still, constantly confronted with this, depending on which places in the world I'm exhibiting."
JR came to San Francisco, inspired by murals that Diego Rivera painted in the Bay Area in the 1930's and 40's.
"Because of the disparity, because of the complexity of the city... why there are so many people struggling to find homes, why there are so many people sleeping in the streets," he said.
The exhibit is also interactive. You can download an app on your phone or go to a kiosk in the museum to learn about everyone's story in the mural, including Draymond Green, who's featured tossing a basketball across the top of the mural to a young girl.
"It's surprising to see myself in the museum," said Candace Chen.
As an organizer of the Women's March, JR asked Chen to strike a moving pose, holding a sign that says "I'm with her," for the mural.
"It's really inspiring and I think such an honor to be a part of this piece," said Chen.
The 'Chronicles of San Francisco' mural will remain in the free portion of the SFMOMA for the next year.
JR hopes the piece will live on somewhere else, once the year is up.
"I hope it will find a place in the city where it will stay permanent because already, this captures a moment of time in the city that is embed forever with the stories of the people."
JR’s ‘The Chronicles of San Francisco’ was inspired by Diego Rivera murals. It documents the strife of people living in San Francisco and the dichotomy between them and all the wealth in SF. JR approached his subjects randomly on the street. He filmed and interviewed 1,200 people pic.twitter.com/ab4UQUgjkX— Kate Larsen (@KateABC7) May 24, 2019