Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening: 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.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring: Baron Von Fancy, City Kitty, Claudio Dre, Consumer Art, Ethan Armen, Humenbote, Jerk Face, Mr. Sis, Pantonio, Paola Delfin, Paris Sketch Culture, Peter Tunney, Sac Six, Thomas Allen, Tictail, and Zor.
New York graffiti artist DAZE just got back from Haiti where he was inaugurating a mural project for The Academy of Peace and Justice in Port Au Prince, Haiti. Along another admired and well-revered New York graffiti artist KET, DAZE worked with local students to create some new pieces for a huge new project spearheaded by pop artist and APJ advisory board member, Peter Tunney, who hopes to launch it as the “Haiti Walls” project.
“The design that I came up with doesn’t deal with peace in a political or military sense, but is more about inner peace,” DAZE tells us. “I wanted to create something that would be offering a kind of inner peace in order to achieve further goals.”
In his original design (above) for the huge piece DAZE included an area for students to add their own voice, enabling this school of nearly 3,000 students on 100% scholarship to take ownership of the artwork as well. Not only did students paint, they also played music for the team just in time for the beginning of the school year.
Taking inspiration from the letter forms, patterns, and color palette used in signage and everyday street life, DAZE incorporated a gently held and supported “PAIX” (peace) to the streets as well.
“During my time in Haiti I did see many examples of extreme poverty that were hard to bear,’ DAZE says of his daily explorations while there. “A lot of the students I worked with came from an area called ‘Cite de Soliel” which is the largest slum in Haiti. I also saw many examples of the 2010 earthquake that remained. Having said that, I saw many examples of a resilience, resourcefulness, and creativity that could only be found there. The Hatian people were kind, generous and open to my presence there. The cultural creativity there is incredible. Haiti is a really beautiful country that I encourage people to experience firsthand.”