Environmental Street Artists Depict The Dark Realities We Often Avoid

Raising awareness of climate change, one massive painting of a whale at a time.

08/11/2016 11:14 am ET | Updated Aug 12, 2016
"Black machine" mural painting and installation on the Colosseo theater in Turin, Italy, in September 2015.

A polar bear whose bottom half is caked in oily black gunk. A whale wrapped in striped fabric: a pseudo straightjacket. These are the messes climate change leaves behind, the things we know are happening but often don’t have the opportunity to see with our own eyes.

Swiss street art duo Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni, otherwise known as NeverCrew, met in art school when they were 15 and started making work together soon after. As a team, the artists adorn the world with eye-popping and gut-wrenching images depicting the consequences of humanity’s actions on earth.

"Signalling machine" mural painting for Urban Canvas in Varese, Italy, in 2015.

Tackling issues from privatization of natural resources to the concentration of environmental power to climate change to immigration, NeverCrew transforms dark realities into stunning works of art that urge viewers to take action as quickly as they capture our attention.

Many of their projects directly address mankind’s contemporary connection to nature, which they view as a relationship of necessity and belonging, as well as one of consumption and appropriation. In captions accompanying their artworks, they have called the privatization of natural resources “arrogant” and an “inconsiderate exploitation.”

“In our society, structured on the expansion of power and on the conquest of the final product, the origin of things and their history are often put aside,” they wrote in another caption. “The reasons are confused and mixed over time [...] making past and present less and less readable.”

"See through / see beyond" mural painting and installation for St+Art India in New Delhi in January 2016.

NeverCrew hopes their work creates a dialogue between artist and viewer, placing the dire issues plaguing our natural world at center stage. “We’re developing our personal language, artwork after artwork, to communicate and interact in our personal way,” the artists explained to Street Art United States.

Thus far, NeverCrew has created work in locations around the globe, including Hamburg, Dublin, Cairo, Belgrade and Berlin. They hope soon to visit the United States. Check out of NeverCrew’s most inspiring works below:

"Ordering machine" mural painting for Grenoble Street Art Fest in Grenoble, France, 2016.
"Inhuman barriers" mural painting that addresses the theme of immigration realized for “Cities of hope” in Manchester, U.K., in support to the local solidarity group WASP (Women Asylum Seekers Together), 2016.

"This project is about immigration and integration: about the loss of humanity and empathy, about barriers and values, and about the distant and often presumptuous position of who's on the 'right part' of the border."
"Imitation of Life no9" (or "Evolutive Machine no1") mural painting realized in the context of Mikser Festival in Belgrade, Serbia, in June 2014.

"The project represents for us an idea of evolution, of transformation, of life and change under an alternative perspective, which we associate with the city of Belgrade and in particular with the area where we have made the painting."
"Detecting machine n.1" mural painting for "Wall Therapy" in Rochester, New York, co-curated by Urban Nation Berlin, 2015.
"Privatization machine n.1" mural painting and installation for the Millerntor Gallery #5 in Hamburg, Germany, as part of the social art project to support "Viva con Agua" for worldwide water projects, 2015.

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