Saving the planet from climate change, mass extinctions and wasteful consumption isn't all about doom and gloom -- it can also be about re-connecting with nature and reviving that sense of wonder and care about all that is around us. Art is one way to bridge that gap of consciousness, helping to convey that subtle, greater awareness that not only is around us, but within us. Artists like Alexis Diaz seem to skillfully channel that awareness into inspiring works of creativity, such as these huge murals of animals that walk a line between realism and a fantastical version of otherworldliness.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Diaz's works are characterized by small, meticulous brushstrokes of black against a white-painted background. It's a departure from the usual spraypaint that other street artists may use, and lends Diaz's work an look of surgical precision that's more akin to an ink drawing.
Since he was a youngster, Diaz felt drawn to street art as he sensed that traditional fine art would not sufficiently express what he had in his mind. Interestingly, Diaz apparently builds most of his works by freehand as he goes along, bit by bit, line by line. It all depends on the local flavour of a place, he says on Widewalls:
I felt that traditional, paint-on-canvas style had its limitations – I had always dreamed of creating art for all people to enjoy. I feel like having an intimate conversation between the wall, the surrounding space and me. I put elements together like in a puzzle until the moment of mutual understanding.
Diaz often depicts transfigured wildlife that are local to the place that the mural is presented, tying it to the regional ecosystem, while at the same time expressing a kind of magical symbolism, imbued with an imagined metamorphosis that seamlessly combines animals with human parts, wings and roots into one universal and unending continuum of transformation.
So far, since starting in 2009 the Florida-based artist has created over 40 murals for far-flung cities all over the United States and Europe, taking a leap of faith by quitting his job and plunging himself into mural painting full-time. Evocative and rich with meaning, these creative works express a vision that sees humans intertwined as part of the natural world, rather than separate from it. See more over at Alexis Diaz's Facebook and Instagram.