Street art is defined by two major elements: the visual one and the message behind it. Artists like Banksy use graffiti as a great tool for posting social messages and this was also the idea behind Louis Masai Michel’s ‘Save the Bees’, a street art project that aims to raise awareness about bee’s colony collapse disorder. Realizing that colony collapse disorder is a colossal issue (bees are extremely important to agriculture as they pollinate plants – yet entire colonies are disappearing without a solid reasons; there are theories, mostly about pesticide ingredients) but also understanding that people don’t really care much about the problems they don’t face every day, Louis joined forces with artist Jim Vision and took to the streets of London, painting beautiful (and often illegal) bee murals to raise awareness.
The murals began shortly after Michel returned from a trip to South Africa where he was painting endangered animals, when he began to learn about about bees and the grave implications of colony collapse disorder. Along with the paintings of bees, the artist penned phrases from the bees’ point of views that warn about the dangers of allowing bee populations to become endangered, or worse, extinct. Each is hashtagged with #SavetheBees, so visitors can easily follow and find the other colorful murals around the city, and now the world.
After taking time out for a gallery show in London, Michel plans to continue the #SavetheBees series on the streets next year to act as a second phase of warning people about the dangers of colony collapse through his art