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.
Follow Saype on Instagram@saype_artiste