Millennium Post

Growing life on canvas

Growing life on canvas
Jungle Me - Green Grafitti, an exhibition of an unusual method of painting on the canvas by French artist Jonathan Longuet  certainly reflects the artist's enormous creativity. Jungle Me consists of nine  works and seven are in collaboration with Manou, an acclaimed Indian street fashion photographer.

Jonathan Longuet works with a 'living plant paint', a curious paint solution made from the extraction of algae (a type of organism that grows on damp stones). The artist harvests the algae at the feet of buildings and after cultivating the algae he applies them artistically to a wall or canvas. He calls his algae paintings Green Graffiti which are like a plant growing slowly over time depending on conservation’s conditions. Green Graffiti paint comes from personal researches and cooperation with several biologists and lichenologists since 2005.

Longuet lives and works in Bordeaux, France. For this series, he questioned the notion of the urban jungle- the density, movement with a focus on the people  evolving  in  such  an environment, their relationship with that world which defines their identity. Explaining the concept behind Green Graffiti, Longuet said, 'A simple microscopic observation of green graffiti allows us to see the territorial wars, food, duplication, waste management, these same problematic issues that we find in the heart of our contemporary  civilizations apply to complex systems of plants. By giving humans  forms to plants, I try to open a dialogue between human beings and their biological environments, highlighting their common traits, their reactions to the reality of survival,their necessity to live in a community.'

The curator of the exhibition, Elizabeth Rogers comented on Longuet's style of work and said, 'Inherent in the Green Graffiti/Jungle Me works of the French artist Jonathan Longuet is a personal exploration of an organic growth process and the unfolding of the natural environment with its increasingly complicated and tenuous relationships with humanity.

In essence, they investigate and express energy, effort and inner processes, which extend beyond the archetypical boundaries of aesthetic manifestation to juxtapose and ponder the parallels
of science and art.'
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