In late April, French graffiti artist Saype (real name Guillaume Legros), known for creating enormous biodegradable paintings on grass, presented his latest masterpiece on an open mountainside in the alpine resort town of Leysin, Switzerland.
The temporary land art, titled Beyond Crisis, depicts a young girl looking toward the horizon while seated to complete a chain of stick figures holding hands. The mural covers more than 32,000 square feet of a grass clearing that overlooks Lake Geneva in the Swiss Alps. The artwork’s lifespan will depend on local weather and the regrowth of grass on the hilltop, the artist explained in a press statement.
Saype—who in 2019 made Forbes’s list of 30 most influential European personalities under 30 (in art and culture)—produced the striking grass graffiti using biodegradable paints made from natural pigments, such as coal and chalk. The temporary mural is meant to send a message of hope and positivity during the COVID-19 pandemic and to evoke a world built with more solidarity and humanity in the future, he explained.
“During these times of pandemic, a majority of the world population is confined. Although we are all affected, we live different challenges or struggles,” the Switzerland-based graffiti artist wrote on Instagram. “I choose to paint this fresco entitled ‘BEYOND CRISIS’ close to home to share with you an optimistic message and a breath of fresh air.”
“As with my other works, I want to convey an optimistic vision, a certain idea of living together,” the self-taught artist told Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA. (Since 2015, Saype has debuted similar biodegradable grass paintings around the world in cities such as Paris, Berlin, and Buenos Aires.)
“The main idea is to challenge the world that will follow after the crisis, on the importance of all looking in the same direction.”