Saype, born Guillaume Legros on February 17, 1989, in Belfort, France, is a contemporary artist that has marked his impact in the field of art through his unique approach and remarkable creativity. Known for his ultra-realistic giant paintings on nature using a biodegradable paint that he invented himself, Saype has been listed as one of the 30 most influential people under 30 in art and culture by Forbes magazine in 2019.
Early Life and Career
Birth and Background
Hailing from the French-Swiss border, Saype grew up in Évette-Salbert, cherishing a deep passion for art from an early age. He embraced his artistic journey at the tender age of 14, painting graffiti on the streets that were later exhibited in art galleries when he was just 16.
Career as a Nurse
Parallel to his emerging artistic career, Saype also practiced nursing for nearly seven years. He believes this profession has influenced his artworks by bringing him closer to existential questions about human suffering. Doesn’t it make you wonder how different professional experiences shape our perspective toward life and art?
Adoption of the Pseudonym Saype
Saype, a pseudonym formed from the contraction of “say” and “peace”, reflects his early graffiti work. It symbolizes his aim to leave a peaceful message through his art.
Ephemeral Land Art
Unlike traditional artists, Saype chose nature as his canvas, creating ephemeral artworks that gracefully disappear after a month due to grass regrowth, weather conditions, and the passage of visitors. He uses this transitory medium to draw attention and impact mentalities with his monumental artworks without leaving a trace in nature. It’s like a whisper of an idea that lingers in the mind long after the physical form is gone.
Development of Biodegradable Paint
Determined to minimize the environmental impact, Saype spent a year researching and developing a biodegradable paint. The paint, composed of water, chalk, charcoal, and casein, adheres to the earth while maintaining the ecological balance.
Impact on the Environment
His artworks, visible from the sky for a few weeks, disappear as nature dictates, leaving no harm to the environment but a lasting impression on the observers. Thus, Saype’s creations beautifully illustrate art’s transient yet powerful nature.
Saype’s first work in nature, “L’Amour,” was created in 2015 in the French Alps. It was then the largest fresco on grass in the world, symbolizing a new era of eco-friendly artistry.
On June 15, 2019, Saype launched the “Beyond Walls” project with the goal to connect the five continents through the largest symbolic human chain in the world. The project kicked off at the Champ de Mars, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, in Paris. The 600-meter-long fresco depicted hands holding each other, symbolizing unity and connection.
Expansions and Global Reach
Between 2019 and 2022, more than a dozen cities were associated with the Beyond Walls project. Saype extended his project to Ouagadougou, Yamoussoukro, Turin, Istanbul, and even the city of Ganvié, marked by a history of slavery, truly giving a global reach to his art.
Saype and the United Nations
Artwork in front of the United Nations Headquarters
In 2021 and 2022, Saype painted in front of the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, Geneva, and Nairobi. This was a significant recognition of his work on an international platform.
The message of Hope through “World in Progress”
Saype’s “World in Progress” is described as a “message of hope,” depicting the creation of an ideal world imagined by two children. This resonates deeply with the United Nations’ mission of creating a peaceful and sustainable world.
Saype in the Studio
Métros and Les Aurores series
Beyond his ephemeral works in nature, Saype also creates in his studio, combining media, including canvas and Plexiglas, to give an impression of depth. His series “Métros” and “Les Aurores” are exhibited in galleries, showcasing his versatility as an artist.
Saype’s Influence and Recognition
Recognition by Forbes Magazine
Saype’s innovative approach to art and his commitment to environmental sustainability have earned him recognition from Forbes magazine as one of the most influential young people in art and culture.
Impact on Art and Culture
Saype’s work falls between land and street art, pioneering a new genre of environmental art. His creations, while temporary, leave a lasting impact on the viewer, prompting a reflection on our relationship with nature and our responsibility to preserve it.
Saype’s Future Prospects
The future for Saype looks promising, with a growing global recognition of his work and the increasing importance of environmentally friendly practices in all areas of life. As he continues to create, innovate, and inspire, there’s no doubt that his influence will continue to shape the landscape of contemporary art.
In conclusion, Saype’s journey from a graffiti artist to a globally recognized environmental artist is a testament to his dedication, innovation, and love for the environment. His unique approach to art, his development of environmentally friendly practices, and his impactful works have not only left a mark in the field of art but have also inspired a conversation about sustainability and our role in preserving the environment.
Now, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about Saype:
- Who is Saype?
- Saype is a contemporary artist known for creating ultra-realistic giant paintings in nature using a biodegradable paint that he invented himself.
- What is unique about Saype’s art?
- Saype’s art is unique because he paints on grass, creating ephemeral works that disappear after a few weeks due to natural processes. His paintings are also environmentally friendly as he uses a biodegradable paint that he developed himself.
- What are some of Saype’s notable works?
- Some of Saype’s notable works include “L’Amour,” which was the largest fresco on the grass in the world when it was created in 2015, and the “Beyond Walls” project, which aims to connect the five continents through the largest symbolic human chain in the world.
- What recognition has Saype received?
- In 2019, Forbes magazine recognized Saype as one of the 30 most influential people under 30 in art and culture.
- What is the “Beyond Walls” project?
- The “Beyond Walls” project, launched by Saype in 2019, aims to connect the five continents through the largest symbolic human chain in the world. The project started in Paris and has since expanded to more than a dozen cities worldwide.
- What does Saype’s pseudonym mean?
- Saype’s pseudonym is formed from the contraction of “say” and “peace”, reflecting his early graffiti work and his aim to leave a peaceful message through his art.
Through his innovative artistry and commitment to sustainability, Saype has carved out a unique place in contemporary art. His work continues to inspire and challenge, fostering reflection on our relationship with the environment and our role within it.