Seemingly floating atop vast brick exteriors and inside massive specimen boxes, enormous butterflies stretch their wings, casting a soft shadow on building facades. Now based on both sides of the Atlantic—Switzerland and Mexico City—French artist Mantra (previously) continues to lean into the passion, curiosity, and respect he harbors for nature. Pursuing his childhood dreams of becoming a naturalist, the artist’s signature take on exploring the Lepidoptera through freehand acrylic murals is monumental.
Mantra is inspired by insects’ seemingly effortless movements and motions that are, in actuality, incredibly complex. He explains to Colossal that “it is quite challenging to study a butterfly so closely that your presence will not disturb them. Their flight patterns are unpredictable, and they rarely spend much time resting on a leaf or flower. However, this is precisely what captivates me.” The artist has also had recent opportunities to affirm his practice, such as accompanying a volunteer research program and census by the Cerro Prieto community inside the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico.
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