SAO PAULO, Oct 27 — To raise awareness of the impact of global warming and denounce the inaction of politicians, Brazilian street artist Mundano has created a giant mural on a building in the heart of the city of São Paulo. In black, gray and white, the mural looks like it’s been drawn in charcoal. However, it has actually been made using ash from forest fires.

A 10,000 kilometer expedition across Brazil and three months of collective work to renovate the facade of a building of just over 1,000 sqm. That’s what went into creating the “O Brigadista da Floresta” (“The fireman of the forest”) artwork by the Brazilian street artist Mundano, who created a huge mural on a building located in downtown São Paulo.

Entirely in shades of gray and black, the work is inspired by the famous painting “O Lavrador de Café” (“The coffee worker”), painted in 1934 by the Brazilian artist, Candido Portinari. To create this work, Mundano collected 200 kg of ash from the country’s fire-ravaged areas: the Pantanal and Cerrado regions, the Atlantic Forest and the Amazon. This smoke residue was then mixed with water and transformed into paint, which the artist used to paint his mural.



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Located just off Avenida Paulista, one of São Paulo’s main thoroughfares, the mural was inaugurated Tuesday, October 19. Almost like a photograph, the work represents Vinicius Curva de Vento, a firefighter that Mundano saw with his own eyes fighting the flames in the Cerrado savanna. At the foot of the firefighter lies a crocodile skeleton and tree trunks.

In addition to paying tribute to firefighters and raising awareness about the forest fires that have been ravaging Brazil for several years, Mundano wanted to denounce, through his giant mural, the inaction of governments to curb deforestation.

In 2020, fires in the Amazon increased by 16 per cent compared to the previous year. According to data from the space agency INPE, 103,000 fires were recorded in the Amazon biome that year. Such fires have increased since President Jair Bolsonaro came to power, criticised for encouraging agricultural and mining activities in the world’s largest rainforest. — ETX Studio