Real Leaders

Art Tackles Drought

For 31-year-old graffiti artist Mundano from São Paulo, Brazil, art has to do with attitude. He makes people stop and think about the issues swirling around them everyday.

His bold, colorful street art isn’t just eye candy; it calls attention to social, environmental and political issues, while raising chuckles from passersby. Coming across a cactus in drought-stricken California with faucets sticking from it, is sure to make you chuckle.

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The bright-green cactus wants to convey the urgency of vanishing water in California –  suffering the worst drought in 1,200 years. Mundano’s tour included eight lakes and reservoirs that supply the cities of California — and crucially, also supply the farmers of the Central Valley, who produce an amazing 25% of all the food consumed in the United States.

The water will end. And I’m not talking about the water that we will leave for our children, but the water we need next year. We need citizens to mobilize to reverse this scenario.

At each site, Mundano installed a cactus sculpture constructed from recycled water pipes. “I started painting cacti as graffiti a long time ago,” he says. “To me, they are the symbol of strength and the best representation of the Brazilian people, who survive on very little – but it is also an international symbol anyone can identify with.”

Each sculpture is fitted with taps that run (temporarily!) with real freshwater.

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