Street art has the ability to take a simple message and explore a strong topic in a powerful image. Popular street artists and muralists tend to take on large and heavy topics such as the environment, global warming, and the proper treatment of animals in different environments.
The different pieces of art are all vibrant and striking and are able to capture a strong and powerful message at the same time. The murals are able to give a voice from the perspective of the artists and show how an issue can be played out in the creative world.
Check out some of the most powerful images on environmental issues, the treatment of animals, and global warming below.
1. Fintan Magee, Drowning While Standing, Acquapendente, Italy
Australian street artist is widely known for his elaborate, large-scale murals adorning the walls all around the world. His latest piece, "Drowning While Standing," created in the small city of Acquapendente for the Urban Vision Festival takes on the widely discussed topic of climate change. The artist writes:
"As rising sea levels, increased aridity and coral bleaching become a visible global reality, it’s easy for young voters to feel ignored by politicians and policy makers who continually focus on the needs of baby boomers and older voters.
[...] Many young people now feel unheard, disconnected from politics, and increasingly cynical about the future of the planet."
Magee's mural was inspired by the 2016 United Nations report, which claims that young people are more concerned about climate change than economy, terrorism, unemployment or any other issue.
"This painting set in the context of the U.S. pulling out of the Paris agreement depicts a young man drowning while standing.
His face is incased in plastic as rising water levels engulf his face, suffocate his voice and render him mute and breathless. "
"Exhausting Machine" is the latest piece in NEVERCREW's series about the relationship between mankind and nature. The piece focuses on "the direct responsibility in the management of this balance and its awareness."
NEVERCREW, also known as Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni, is known for tackling the topic of environmental issues and the exploitation of different natural resources. The duo tends to focus on how human resources impact everyday life and how they change the natural world. See more of their murals and how they tackled this topic in the art below.
3. Banksy, various locations and works
Banksy has taken on the world of environmental street art with subtle but super powerful messages. The unknown artists pieces can be seen all over the world.
Banksy often has a witty and clever take on his art, but is still able to keep his message simple and impactful. See more of his topical work below.
4. Pejac, World Is Going Down The Drain, Paris, France
Pejac often incorporates everyday objects into his street art pieces. This specific piece takes on the issue of the world going to waste.
Pejac’s works of art can be seen all over the world in cities such as Moscow, London, Paris, Milan, and Istanbul. Pejac is also known for his take on politics and freedom in his art.
5. ROA, various locations and works
ROA is known for creating many poignant murals addressing animal rights and their place in the world. ROA normally paints his pieces using only black and white, but occasionally puts in vibrant and bright colors.
ROA also uses native animals based on the area that he is painting in, showing a bigger part of the back-story to his piece.
Italian street artist BLU, who keeps his real identity a secret, paints very large murals to show a strong message tackling political events and environmental changes. BLU has a signature style and tends to paint his pieces in urban and industrial areas.
7. Natalia Rak, The Legend of Giants
Natalia Rak is a Polish-based street artist who defines herself and her artwork through the different faces of women. Her work is often colorful, vibrant, and meaningful and normally has a metaphor within a greater meaning.
Nemo's is known for his character-like approach to his murals. He often uses his characters to tell stories to share his strong ideas across his pieces using a witty manner.
9. JULY i
This Toronto-based street artist shows her stance on animal cruelty with her clever approach to how the animals are treated in society. The artist's approach is often satirical and witty.