Street Artist Projects Light Graffiti on the Amazon Rainforest

Photographer and street artist Philippe Echaroux creates the “world’s first street art” in the Amazon with the Surui tribe.

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Nov 14 2016, 7:10pm

Screencaps by the author

The last place people want to see any graffiti is in the Amazon rainforest, but this is precisely the work of photographer and light artist Philippe Echaroux. Using a projector’s light instead of spray paint, and tree canopies as his canvas instead of building exteriors, Echaroux paints gorgeous portraits with light.

In a recent video, Echaroux showcases what he calls the “world’s first street art” in the Amazon. Using images, captured via digital photography and likely manipulated with software to create the proper contrast, he projects faces of local Amazonian people onto trees. One of his street art subjects is Almir Narayamoga Surui, chief of the Surui tribe.

“They were discovered only 50 years ago,” Echaroux says in the video. “But this guy has already understood that he would swap his bows and arrows [for] computers if he wanted to save his forest.”

Echaroux says he’s often asked if he is a photographer or street artist. For him, the question is irrelevant, as he prefers not to be boxed in. So he lets others answer the question.

“What really matters to me is making art—art with strong meaning,” says Echaroux. “When I got in contact with the Surui tribe I promised them one thing: I wanted to illustrate that when we cut down a tree it’s like putting a man down, when we see the connection between these people and the forest, this really is the evidence.” See Echaroux's projections come to life below: 

Première Mondiale: du Street Art au coeur de la Forêt Amazonienne - World First Street Art in the Rainforest. from pays-imaginaire.fr on Vimeo.

Click here to see more of Philippe Echaroux’s work.

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