World in progress: Saype’s fresco for the United Nations
Saype painted a 6.000 square meter biodegradable fresco in front of the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva. This artwork is a present from Switzerland to the UN and sends a message of hope and togetherness for and from the youth.
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 exposes his first works in a gallery at the age of sixteen.
He is considered as the pioneer of the land art movement with his gigantic biodegradable paintings on the grass.
In 2016, he created the biggest land art painting in the world (10,000 square meters in Leysin) which gave him international recognition with over 200 press articles on this work.
In 2019, he was selected as one of the most influential personalities of the cultural world by Forbes (30 under 30).
In 2017, the swiss president Doris Leuthard thanked him for the social vision of his art.In 2018, the publishing house Gallimard worked with him to create his own book on the subject, called ‘Green Art’, and to highlight the innovative qualities of the biodegradable paint that he has created.
More recently, Saype made a huge land art painting dedicated to the refugee association SOS Mediterranée in Paris – a 15 000 sq m 100% biodegradable painting on the Champ de Mars, just under the Eiffel Tower. His project made waves with features in BBC News, Financial Times, CNN, The Guardian, The Economist, etc.
For Saype, art must be a tool furthering social advances and helping social conflicts. ‘Our lives and acts are traces that we leave behind in this world, we must make them meaningful’ – Saype. He 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 the society.
Photos by VFLPIX.COM /Valentin Flauraud