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Brooklyn Street Art

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Louis Masai: “The Art Of Beeing” Tour Kicks Off in NYC to Save Endangered Species

Posted on October 10, 2016

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Activism and Street Art go hand in hand and some artists are skilled at activating public space for hearts and brains to spark and cogitate. During the last 15 years we’ve documented a number of seriously affecting artworks on the street that use text and/or imagery to address political, social, environmental, and economic issues and opinions by artists as varied as Shepard Fairey, Banksy, John Fekner, Ganzeer, LMNOPI, Myth, Gilf!, Gaia, LNY, Jetsonorama, and any number of one-shot authors. In this election year there are too many Trumps to count, and a few Hillary pieces as well.

Undaunted by commercial interests and able to deliver directly to the passerby, Street Artists know that their visual message isn’t guaranteed acceptance but they take a chance anyway. The ones that reflect the sentiments on the street tend to last longer, aesthetics count, and so does spelling, at least that is our inductive observation.

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

One London artist who seriously raises awareness about the Earths’ endangered species is Louis Masai, a painter, sculptor, illustrator and Street Artist. Starting this week in New York Masai is beginning a 20 mural tour across the United States to talk about the hard working, honey-making, pretty pollinating bee – and a number of our animals that are in danger of dying off completely.

He calls this tour The Art of Beeing and with a small team of friends he will travel over the next 2 months to Detroit, Reno, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, El Paso, Austin, New Orleans, Nashville, Atlanta, and finally Miami. BSA is proud to be a supporter of this project and we hope to bring you every last little animal and mural that Louis creates in this grueling march.

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Each city wall will feature animals from that region which are endangered, and the list is fairly shocking, truth be told. Who knew the New England cottontail bunny was borderline endangered, for example. Don’t they mate like, um, rabbits?

In each mural he’ll cover the animal with a metaphorical patchwork quilt, symbolic of the many people and efforts that it will take to save it and protect it from extinction. Hovering nearby is a bee holding a needle and thread to stitch the quilting squares together.

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The shape itself may remind you of a children’s toy, and Louis says that is his intention.

“I’m painting toys because if we don’t act now to stop extinction, only toys will remain in place of animals,” he says.

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

It is Mr. Masai’s hope that we will collectively work to protect these animals before they disappear. In an instance of sad irony the artist begins this cross-country tour when the United States has just announced in late September that 7 varieties of US bees are now on the endangered species list (Washington Post).

Last year The Guardian reported that nearly one in ten bees in Europe face extinction and there have been reports worldwide in the last decade of bee colonies collapsing at alarming rates.

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

If you think this is just about honey, think again. It is estimated that bees and other pollinators are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat. We obviously have to be the people who push to improve the situation because corporations and industry can’t think beyond the next three months and their shareholders.

Like the Art of Beeing website says, “The extinction crisis is hands down one of the most important issues of our generation,” and 50% of the planet’s species could be erased by 2050.

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October 2016.  The reluctant subjects. The whole road team. @louismasai on the center with @emil.walker on the left and @teebyford on the right. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. Bog Turtle. Endangered. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October  2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Louis Masai: The Art of Beeing USA Tour. New England Cottontail Rabbit. Vulnerable. The Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn. NYC. October 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 


 

The Art of Beeing needs your donations. CLICK on their Kickstarter link to help.

Click http://louismasai.com/projects/the-art-of-beeing/ to learn more about the project.

Our sincere thanks to Joe Ficalora at The Bushwick Collective for his help.


 

Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

 

 

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