Petare, Venezuela

Thank you so much for participating in our campaign to help a struggling Venezuelan slum.
Last April, Venezuelan artist @dagor1 and I launched a fundraising campaign called “Colores Para Petate” to help a suffering low-income neighbourhood of Caracas. People could download and print a colouring book with mine and Dagor’s drawings, and keep the kids busy with it during lockdown. With each download people were free to give whatever amount of money they wanted.

It took us a long time to transfer the money over to Venezuela because of the very complex situation there. It isn’t possible to simply transfer money to a Venezuelan account.

However we finally found a good way of getting the money over! We got bags of food for families who are struggling after the covid crisis hit an already extremely vulnerable community. We also printed some colouring books for the local kids.

Thank you to all of you who participated! The community really appreciates that people, even far away, actually care!
Thank you to @camargokgh , @vitamarcelot , Mar, Rodrigo and Blandine!
📷@vitamarcelot

Share The Word Project – Favara

Video of Share The Word Project in Favara, Italy! Check out my work with @Spagbertin !
[Subtitles available on youtube in English, Italian, Spanish, French.]

Street artist Seb Toussaint works in slums, refugee camps and low income neighbourhoods around the world for his ongoing mission “Share The Word Project”. He paints words that people choose and tells the stories behind these words. The idea is to bring some focus to marginalised communities.

In this episode, Seb Toussaint spends a couple of weeks painting in Favara, a low income town of Sicily, Italy. Through the words painted on the walls, video maker @Spagbertin captures the voices of the community.

Filmed in Favara, Italy, September 2020, with the support of @FarmCulturalPark .
All rights reserved ©SpagBertin.

I’m not allowed to complain because my year hasn’t actually been that bad. I’m in good shape, my living loved ones are well, my dead ones are rotting away peacefully, compost in its advanced stages. The sun hasn’t exploded, business as usual in the Milky Way.

And then I can’t stop thinking that it really should have been a better year. Yeah, I’ve had stuff to work on, commissioned projects I’ve enjoyed. But apart from a great project in Sicily, I haven’t been able to work on “Share The Word Project”. I’m missing slums like I knew I would. I’d got used to balancing my life between Europe with family, friends, mature gouda, smooth roads, fields of maize for livestock, power even after storms; and an enriching life in African slums, South American favelas, Middle Eastern refugee camps, water sold in plastic packets, candles when the power cuts, bismillah before, alhamdulillah after, football with anything spherical, plastic bags for any transaction, guns and cards on plastic tables, sticky tape on bank notes, thick smog, thin tires, maize for humans, handshakes with humans, hugs with humans, tears with humans. It’s hard to find life as exciting without meeting so many humans and a without a project that gives meaning to my life.

And right now I feel fine, but usually I feel like I’m living a dream. Someone’s added a new ingredient to the curry and it’s just not the same. I can’t stop thinking that it seems stupid to stop living a dream because of an ingredient that has such a little chance of killing me. I’m told that I’m doing this for others, in solidarity. Then I think about what went wrong, what made so many humans obese, diabetic and so fragile against viruses, eventually saturating hospitals, triggering lockdowns, unemployment and wrecking dreams ? Wouldn’t it be worth going to the root of the problem? Shouldn’t we try to live in healthy bodies on a hospitable planet and be able to hug humans, play football with humans, and paint all over the world with humans? Because if we can’t do all that, we might as well be compost.

For all those who see January as the beginning of a year, let’s make this one a good one! For the others احبك ايضا . ❤️

Govandi 3

Govandi 3. 30x40cm on painting on paper. Artwork for sale. Contact me for more info!

Been working on a series of paintings using large brush strokes on paper, fragments of movement. I’m calling them by names of Mumbai railway stations where I remember men selling packets of drinkable water for 2 rupees, stray dogs sniffing the floor in search of naan crumbs, kids whacking cricket balls looking for 6s and hitting the odd commuter more often than not, groups of women carrying too many bags who somehow managed to fit inside packed carriges, oldies in a corner on their knees in a conversation with Mohammad ﷺ , the cool lads gliding into each station bodies outside the train, hanging on with an arm and a leg, flying off while the train is still in motion because if you can fly why the hell would you walk? And the more I look at the scene, the less it seems chaotic, the more it makes sense. Everything’s in place, every element is there for a reason.

Postcards

New postcard pack!
Support Share The Word Project by grabbing these on my online store. Pack of 12 postcards of murals painted around the world on Share The Word Project. On the back of each postcards, read about the story behind the mural, the person who chose the word and where the mural was painted. We ship worlwide to countries with a running postal service.

Each pack is identical. Printed in Italy.

Paris

Just completed this 7-floor staircase in an office building in Paris!
Which one’s your favourite ?

The aim of the project is to get people to use the stairs more than the lift, by making the stairs a lot more interesting and attractive than the lift!
It was all painted freestyle and freehand using spray paint, and it took me a whole month.

Caen

Lakhan is a friend I made while living and working in the slum of Phule Nagar in Mumbai. He was deaf and dumb, didn’t know sign language and couldn’t read or write. He was my neighbour, we used to hang out all the time, and do drawing sessions in exercise books in the evenings. Communication was made of smiles, the odd hand gestures and facial expressions. But I think what he understood from me the most were the colours and patterns I painted in my murals. He used to spend a lot of time looking at them and smiling at me. Since Lakhan knew no words of any kind, I couldn’t ask him for a word to paint, and this was a little frustrating. When I left India, I told myself that one day I’ll still paint a wall for him, even if he can’t choose a word.

So I just decided to paint his name on this wall, and the whole composition and colours scheme is inspired by the time we shared together in Mumbai. I’ve just sent this picture to people in the slum who will show it to Lakhan! I hope he’ll like it, and I hope that someone will find a way of “telling” him that I wrote his name on a wall of my city. But even if he doesn’t understand that, i’m pretty sure the colours will talk to him in a way he’ll appreciate.