Born in Metz (France) in 1987, Mantra is a self-taught street artist that has been painting in the streets since 2008. He grew up between the noise of the city and the whispers of the surrounding countryside. In his paintings and street canvases, the Artist pays tribute to his childhood heroes (butterflies, owls, spiders, birds…) in a realistic and lively style, like a mirror reflecting on the cries of a nature that we don’t hear anymore. Mantra creates magnificent murals with the combination of exquisite colors and in-depth background, with the intention to leave his footprints in the urban areas like repeated mantras, hence his nickname.
Not only does he have extraordinary artistic skills – freehand sketching without using a projector or grid – but also he has strong passion and motivation. This young French artist is on his way to the international vanguard of contemporary muralism having his works recognized beyond the European frontier: Buenos Aires, Seattle, Vienna, Paris, Lima, Quito, Bogotá.
I got in touch with Mantra on Facebook and was able to send him a few questions. Please find his answers below.
Hey Mantra how is it going? For people that don’t know you or your work, could you give them a little bit of background?
What’s up? I’m fine thank you. I am actually back in my studio in France. It is good to be home. I’m trying to plan this coming and exiting year. It’s been more than 9 years since that I began painting, mainly on walls, in the french graffiti scene.
Do you recall your first memories of your interests in art?
I Definitely can’t. My parents made a lot of sacrifices to give me the opportunity to have the best education possible, so they gave me tools to draw and paint really early, like every parent for their child.
A lot of street artists started as graffiti writers, then developed their styles and became muralists. How was it for you starting up and what took you to the streets?
Honestly, every painter has his own and unique path. The graffiti culture is one of the strongest and largest movement in art history; So strong that in the last years, it has become the perfect background and lifestyle for the advertising industry.
I was part of the skateboard culture as a teenager, and skateboarding made me aware of the local graffiti scene of which I later became part of. Graffiti gave me a sense of belonging, and a way of self expression.
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