Saype was born as Guillaume Legros in 1989 in Belfort, France, and currently lives in Bulle, Switzerland. Self-taught artist, he begins painting at the age of fourteen through graffiti. Rapidly, he works between the street and his studio, and at the age of sixteen has his first gallery exhibition. Saype is a pioneer of the land art movement with his gigantic biodegradable paintings on grass associated with a strong social message. He is represented by MTArt Agency and he was considered one of the most influential personalities of the cultural world by Forbes (30 under 30), in 2019.
The artist is known for pushing the limits of his field and, in 2016, created the biggest land art painting in the world: 10,000 square meters in Leysin, Switzerland. More recently, Saype worked on the land art painting dedicated to the refugee association SOS Mediterranée, in Paris (exceeding the previous record) – a 15 000 sq m 100% biodegradable painting on the Champ de Mars, just under the Eiffel Tower.
The impressive frescos are inextricably linked to a social and political cause as for the artist ‘our lives and acts are traces that we leave behind in this world, we must make them meaningful’. Saype considers his work as a way to share his vision of the world and to invite us to wonder about our deep nature, our spirit, our place on Earth and in society.
The series ‘Beyond Walls’ is a direct response to our hyperpolarised world where mental and physical walls are being erected and the Other is evermore a foreign entity. The 3-year project aims at creating the largest human chain, interlacing hands in a common effort for plurality, inclusivity and human rights for all. ‘Beyond Walls’ has crossed borders in order to carry out this universal message and from Paris to Berlin, Ouagadougou, Yamoussoukro, Istanbul or Cape Town, these cities have experienced the powerful human chain.
The public recognition of Saype’s work grows project after project. Not only do his projects capture impressive international press coverage (with hundreds of press articles on each project), but they also get well-deserved institutional recognition. The Swiss president Doris Leuthard thanked Saype for the social vision of his art, in 2017. And, in 2018, the publishing house Gallimard worked with the artist to create his own book on the subject of Land Art, called ‘Green Art’, to highlight the innovative qualities of the biodegradable paint Saype created.
Land Art and Brands
In March 2021, Saype completed the 10th step of his “Beyond Walls” project in the Republic of Benin. Five frescoes, four islands and one fresco by the ocean, Saype never stops impressing the world. For the very first time, our artist Saype painted directly on a beach, this was a real technical challenge as he had to compete with the wind, the sand and the tide from the sea. For this challenging part our artist painted with a headlamp by night, the time and work invested in it were worth it as the result is truly unique.
It is incredibly meaningful to see that our artist Saype is adding some hope, peace and unity in a country like South Africa with his project “Beyond Walls”. South Africa is a country rich in culture and ethnic diversity bound by the spirit of Ubuntu (togetherness), and using art to share this value is powerful, especially when a country is going through dark times. Our artist Saype finished his 9th step of his worldwide « Beyond Walls » project in Sea Point, Cape Town, South Africa on the 25th of January 2021. There is a total of three frescoes around the city, the hands interlacing one another is a fraternal vision of the three communities. The gigantic hands symbolize the reconciling will of Neslon Mandela by linking, beyond social and economic inequalities, the three districts of Sea Point, Philippi and Langa.
Saype painted for the 8th step of his worldwide “Beyond Walls” project on a floating barge in the Golden Horn of the Bosphorus, Istanbul, Turkey. Three frescoes were created using biodegradable pigments made out of charcoal, chalk, water and milk proteins. The Beyond Walls aims at creating the largest symbolic human chain around the world, promoting values such as togetherness, kindness and openness to the world. In Istanbul, this step links Europe to Asia: one artwork was created at Bogazici University (2500 Sq. m) on the European side of the country, a second one was created in the Beykoz district (1600 Sq. m) on the Asian side and the two of them were linked by an artwork painted on a floating barge in the Golden Horn of the Bosphorus (2200 Sq. m).
As shown on the FT Weekend cover, our artist Saype created the biggest public artwork under the Tour Eiffel, a 15 000 square meter biodegradable painting which is part of the international project “Beyond Walls”
In April 2020, Saype created this 3 000 square meters artwork in the alpine resort of Leysin in Switzerland. Through this giant land art painting, the artist aims to send a message of hope and positivity to the world in the difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This giant biodegradable land art painting is the 6th step of Saype’s “Beyond Walls” project, aiming at creating the longest symbolic human chain around the world promoting values such as togetherness, kindness and openness to the world.
In 2019, Saype has joined the prestigious Forbes « 30 Under 30 » list in Art & Culture. Every year, it rewards the 30 most influential and promising personalities under the age of 30 in 20 different industries.
Our artist Saype was the face of the Lavazza’s campaign “Good to Earth” across 30 international
In 2018, Saype painted this fresco in the park La Perle du Lac in Geneva. The artist called the little girl ‘Future’ as a symbol of the generations from the future and the small origami boats that she drops into Lake Geneva aims to represent a message of hope sent to the world.
The second step of the project “Beyond Walls” took place in Andorra, where Saype painted a 5.000 square meters biodegradable fresco.
Our artist Saype collaborated with The Guardian for their campaign as the first national newspaper to use recyclable packaging.
In partnership with Grand Belfort, the Eurockéennes de Belfort invited Saype to produce a monumental fresco in the moats of the Porte de Brisach in Belfort, as a tribute to a city that has hosted artists and visitors that came for this major festival for 30 years.
In May 2019, Saype painted this fresco in the heart of Buenos Aires, San Martin Square, to highlight the importance of education in the treatment of waste and recycling.
This fresco was painted in June 2017 during Kufa’s Urban Art at Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg.
This fresco was painted in September 2018 during the Vevey Image Festival at La tour de Peilz, Vevey, Switzerland.
This fresco was painted in August 2018 during City Garden Festival in Voronezh, Russia.
Follow Saype on Instagram@saype_artiste