The contrast couldn't be stronger: The most delicate and elegant butterflies painted with spray paint on concrete walls - striking!
Who is this street artist who paints rarely known butterfly species as detailed as in a biology book onto the walls of Paris, Vienna, Lima and Seattle?
The name of this uprising French graffiti artist is Mantra. He was born in the French city of Metz in 1987. He taught himself the art of painting and changes the way the streets look since 2008. During his childhood other kids played video games and looked up to disney characters, but his heroes come from a different world. He admired birds, owls, spiders and butterflies instead. For him painting these animals is paying homage to his childhood heroes.
(La renaissance du Phenix Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, France in June 2016. Wall made by Mantra during the Project "Imago" with the support of @galerie36art)
His choice of motif couldn't be more up-to-date... in a world in which most humans get lost in the digital world, rarely get out of the cities and lose touch with nature. Mantra brings the nature back into the cities. It's this contrast which fascinates people. His vision is that one day his murals will be found throughout cities all around the world repeating like a Mantra - explaining his unusual artist name.
(Entomologie moderne made by Mantra during the Rock-Werchter-Festival in Werchter, Belgium, June 2018)
Mantra's street art already is fascinating from the bare look at it. The detailed background of his paintings, the sheer size of his murals or the difficult motifs. However, one has to know that he is not even using a projector, grid or other aids. All his sketches are completely freehand! He transfers his imagination directly on the walls - this is true artistic spirit!
(Wall painting in progress in Thionville, France made by Mantra in July 2017)
(Wall painting by Mantra in the city of Saint-dié-des-Vosges, France made in August 2017)
Slowly the vision of Mantra becomes real: His street art, once started in France, can now be seen in Austria, Belgium, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, the USA and many more. We especially love this painting below which is the "KHAMAMA Noctua" colour. KHAMAMA created already quite a few private commissions with these butterfly wings and Mantra painted a detail view of one wing onto the whole wall in a city in Ecuador!
(A butterfly wing close up painted by Mantra over a whole wall during the festival Guayarte in Ecuador, November 2017)
Butterflies are one of the greatest inspirations for Mantra. These colourful animals can be found in many of his creations. To put his fascination in his own words: “Colors, mimetism, complexity, the phenomenal capacities of adaption, evolution and the fascinating impartiality are all just special to me.”
(Wall painting named "Yasuni's Imago" in Thionville, France made by Mantra in July 2017)
Since early 2018, we at KHAMAMA discovered the beautiful work of Mantra and started a conversation with this amazing young artist. Sharing the same source of inspiration - the nature of beauty - we both strive to make people aware of this beauty. We wish Mantra that his dream comes true and soon his graffiti art will be repeating like a Mantra through the urban world! We want to conclude this article with this beautiful quote of Mantra: "Curiosity feeds imagination, and with a lot of discpline and rigor, it will become the strongest weapon you can build in this small part of the universe."
(Butterflies painted on a house wall in Vienna, Austria during Callelibre Festival, August 2017)
See more of Mantra's art at his Instagram Account: @Mantrarea
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