Audubon Mural Project

Tricolored Heron by Iena Cruz

Location: 432 West 163rd St., New York, NY 10032

Painted: 11/3/2015

Climate Threat: Less than half of the coastal Tricolored Heron's summer range is projected to still be stable by 2080, according to Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report. Learn more about how climate change could affect this species at climate.audubon.org

About the Artist: New York artist Federico Massa (known in the global street art world as Iena Cruz) is a university-trained fine artist from Milan who has called Brooklyn his home for the past five years. Since his arrival, he has received the EB-1—the coveted U.S. Visa for Extraordinary Ability—and a number of gallery shows in New York City, Baltimore, and Miami, as well as commissions for wall murals in Mexico City, Ibiza, Manhattan, Barcelona, Milan, and Brooklyn. Since his teen years in 1990s Milan, Massa forged a solid reputation as a renegade street-art painter. At the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan he developed a unique signature layered style of spray paint stenciling mixed with finely calibrated brush work on a range of textured surfaces. This layering technique became the foundation for a series called “Homages” that was exhibited in his first solo show at the Graphite Gallery in Brooklyn. Large-scale commissions include the rear facade of the Williamsburg Cinemas, a 40’ X 100’ mural of comic book heroes in the Iena Cruz style; it was among the BuzzFeed top 10 best worldwide street art murals of 2013. See more at his website or follow him on Instagram

The Artist on the Mural: Climate change and the animals and plant life affected by climate change has been the focus of my large-scale works for the past few years. In my current work I cast the climate-threatened Tricolored Heron in a melting glacier tableau inspired by 18th century British naturalist Mark Catesby, whose detailed plates set a standard for documenting nature. I created a vivid natural environment in layers of spray paint and stenciling that, while dream-like and fantastical, hide a sad message of extinction. I am proud to have been included in this project and to have the opportunity to create a mural with these important birds whose future in the current ecosystem is uncertain. It is projects like this that can help record the species for the future, and increase awareness that can hopefully hinder their extinction.”

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