That street artists are the torch bearers of social causes has been proved by Sean Yoro, who’s professionally known as HULA. He addresses climate change issues through his works. He came into the limelight when his iceberg murals went viral. His works help raise awareness of climate change and its effects on the environment.
In an interview with Jessica Stewart, this self-taught artist said, “Combining both my art and environmental passions happened almost by accident at first, when I started creating murals along ocean walls. I always had underlying messages of sustainability and awareness, but this was the first concept I could literally combine these two aspects of my life influence into one.”
This native of Hawaii, USA, came onto the street art scene with his water murals that got well publicized. He uses the side of shipwrecks, semi-submerged walls, abandoned docks, and such structures as his canvases to create artworks that merge street art with fine art. Working with oil paints, he uses traditional techniques to create his paintings.
Such is the impact of Yoro’s paintings that they always ignite environmental discussions. For example, his collection titled ‘Deep Seads’, depicting three underwater murals, painted underwater in the oceans of Hawaii, helped spread the awareness of the dying coral reef that is affecting the biodiversity and environment.
For ‘Deap Seads’, Yoro used charcoal paint techniques, so as not to harm the ecosystem. The use of charcoal provided a beautiful blend of contrasting light and dark tones. That the material he used was eco-friendly was proved when algae started forming on his works.
Yoro grew up on the east side of Oahu, one of the islands of Hawaii. He was an easy-going child, who loved surfing. However, when he entered his late teens, he grew passionate about graffiti and tattooing. To develop his skills further, he joined drawing class at Windward Community College on Oahu, Hawaii. Yoro shifted base to Brooklyn, New York, USA to pursue his art. Despite taking a drawing course, he considers himself self-taught, having learned his art by watching hours of YouTube tutorial videos.
Such is the impact of Yoro works that commercial brands, such as Instagram, Facebook, Saks Fifth Avenue, and The North Face had hired him. He has also worked on collaborations. His artworks have been praised by Jacopo Prisco, writer for CNN and Katerina Papathanasiou, journalist and writer for Vale Magazine.
Yoro enjoys a following of over 286,000 fans on Instagram alone.