Swiss street art duo NEVERCREW
recently completed ‘Sensing Machine No.3,’ a mural outside the
historic Paris institution of street art known as Le M.U.R.,
depicting a whale reflecting the city. The eye-catching piece
is the latest in a series of thoughtful large-scale works of
art examining the interplay between nature and our built
environments, often from the perspective of the damage we’ve
done in the form of pollution and species extinction.
“NEVERCREW’s work focuses on the relationship between mankind
and nature and on the relationship between mankind and the
system, in particular on the effects of human attitudes on the
environment, on social injustices and on the relationship
between the concept and the forms of “systems” and an
essential, natural, human and animal truth,” they explain.
Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni began working together in
1996, and these themes have emerged from their work ever since.
They don’t just aim to create a pretty image with each piece;
instead, they seek a dialogue with the surroundings, both in
the form of human residents of the city and the urban
environment itself. They see the surfaces they paint on, and
the elements that surround them, as important elements of each
Imagery is often repeated as the artists draw from visual
components in their catalogue of past works. Whales come up
pretty often. Though this animal’s own experiences may seem far
from those of humans, NEVERCREW explains, they’re part of our
collective imagination and linked to the past and present
history of civilization.
“The history of the relationship between mankind and cetaceans
is in fact particularly emblematic of what is still the
relationship between systems’ policies and natural resources.
The whale, for NEVERCREW, brings with it all its history, the
excessive power of industry, exploitation, dehumanization,
pollution, while maintaining a strong empathic and
communicative value as a living being in an absolute, almost
iconic and decontextualized sense.”