“Peace is our leading mission but, without a healthy environment, we won’t be able to put an end to poverty and build prosperity”. Those inspiring words were pronounced by António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, on a memorable UN Session (September 2017) where H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco reaffirmed the commitment of the Principality to fight against climate change as well as major social and economic inequalities affecting the whole world. Since its creation in 2006, in particular, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation has been committed to support concrete actions for an eco-sustainable future with special attention to rising global temperatures.
To celebrate this engagement, His Serene Highness, Guy Antognelli, president of Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Authority, and Luciana De Montigny, president and founder of the Association “Brazil-Monaco Project”, invited the internationally renowned Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra to conceive a masterpiece to be shown for some months in the Principality, at Fort Antoine. A great-size frescoed tapestry, named ‘Global Warming’, was unveiled last Monday, on the 18thth March 2019 at the Yacht Club de Monaco in the presence of the Sovereign Prince and other distinguished diplomatic and special guests. In that occasion, the original canvas was donated to the Prince for His birthday and other reproductions offered for sale to help partly the Foundation cause.
Inspired by the well-known Dali’s surrealist masterpiece “La persistencia de la memoria” (The persistence of memory) whose melting watches became the symbol of bypassing the very concept of time, Kobra created a realistic Artic or Antarctic environment where huge icebergs are floating due to the rising temperatures.
The result is impactful like most of his graffiti which are marked by a surprising 3D effect and a skilful use of colours. But what has made it possible to achieve all that? HelloMonaco asked directly the talented Eduardo Kobra (E.K.).
H.M.: Mr Kobra, your creative works seem to communicate by overflowing from their frameworks to ‘talk’ with people, what inspired you in creating this fresco especially designed for the Principality?
E.K.: I have been working in almost thirty Countries within the five Continents. I was then delighted of being asked to produce a work of art in Monaco, a Country that shows a great deal of serious determination and innovation as far as the protection of the environment and the global warming are concerned. I found it natural to accept this challenge since I totally agree with the Monegasque way of thinking about those key issues.
H.M.: Since ancient Greece, Graffiti have been considered a way of expressing discomfort, which messages would you like to convey through your works?
E.K.: In the World of Art, everyone has his own way to express his thoughts and aesthetic taste, more aggressive or more harmonious as the case. My mission is to show my frescos to everyone since I firmly believe that Street Art is the most democratic artistic ‘language’ and it could increase its importance in the future, compared to traditional museum displays. I focus on history and memory depicting iconic figures from the past and present like Nelson Mandela, Ghandi, Albert Einstein, Malala Yousafzai and Maya Plisetskaya. Thus, I usually show my support to poor population and migrants, my disappointment in respect of any violence, inequality or racism and my endorsement of environmental protection. I have several focus areas I am referring to according to the project I am involved in. Gathering different cultures towards a common sustainable future is my guiding principle.
The inauguration of Kobra’s piece of art was much more than an art vernissage being the ‘liaison’ between two Countries.
«This project is resulting from my personal meeting with the artist in Brazil. Thanks to the cooperation between Tourism Department and Madame De Montigny, we had the chance to find out common features that pushed him to propose something special addressed to the Principality», pointed out Guy Antognelli during his interview with HelloMonaco.
Consequently, by agreement with Monegasque public authorities, he developed the idea to paint a canvas on environmental topics to be later redesigned on a large scale. Therefore, all Monegasque and visitors will be able to enjoy Kobra’s fresco while visiting Monaco Ville as part of attractions not to be missed.
«I am particularly happy to welcome such an important artist who has been always engaged on natural protection and I feel deeply honoured to receive the support of H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince that makes me speechless», highlighted Luciana De Montigny expressing to HelloMonaco her satisfaction in strengthening the good relationships between Brazil and the Principality of Monaco through a real synergy.
Kobra’s ‘Global Warming’ is then ready to spread out a strong message to the Principality and to the world in order to take immediate action against climate change disastrous consequences that can destroy precious pieces of natural heritage or entire bio-systems like the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.