This year TED awarded its prize to JR, a unique kind of street artist. I have never understood how TED selects its winners (Karen Armstrong? Jamie Oliver?) and JR is no exception. What about those speakers who are eradicating polio, malaria and slavery? But based on the standing ovation and web site comments, the TED community found him to be "courageous and inspiring". So I will defer to TED.com's description of JR:
JR, a semi-anonymous French street artist, uses his camera to show the world its true face, by pasting photos of the human face across massive canvases. At TED2011, he makes his audacious TED Prize wish: to use art to turn the world inside out. Learn more about his work and learn how you can join in at insideoutproject.net.
See the Guide to TED Talks 2011.