Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
1. MANTRA in the Wynwood Jungle
BSA Special Feature: MANTRA in the Wynwood Jungle
For this installment of BSA Film Friday week we offer you our own home-made video observing French street artist and naturalist Youri Cansell AKA MANTRA as he painted in situ among the plants and animals in Miami. Tuesday night’s conversation with our editor in chief Steve Harrington and the artist on the grounds of Wynwood Walls revealed the exacting nature of the artist’s contemplative study of the very pillars of our Earth-anchored existence.
More clinical than didactic in his descriptions, his study of this species and their endangered circumstances is nonetheless passionate. Speaking against a video backdrop of Mantra painting enormous murals around the world, his sharp eye is surpassed only by his reverent appreciation for beauty, executed in precision and warmth.
Here in the temporarily verdant environment created in the gallery by curator and artist Peter Tunney, MANTRA appears to be painting in the forest preserve, surrounded by the lush and the leafy, anchored by a full-wall photo by friend Ryan Lynch of an Equadorian reserve.
A graffiti writer as a teen, an ardent and self-professed amateur entomologist and preservationist in his thirties, Mantra took it as a near-mystical sign when he spotted an actual caterpillar eating leaves on a plant next to him. He has been painting in near solitude while visitors quietly mill around behind him and he looked down to see the unique markings of this visitor, identifying it as a Monarch butterfly en route. Now the artist says that he is ever-clearer of his future projects – as we are of his future successes.
Mantra “Metamorphōsis” is open to the general public at Goldman Global Arts Gallery. Wynwood, Miami.