There is art that is simply beautiful and then there is art that makes you think and feel. Free Humanity has managed to combine beauty with emotionally provoking colors and messages. Although I have never met the artist in person, I find myself admiring his graceful effort to wake humanity out of social manipulation. The artist is clearly an observer of the human condition and sensitive to issues that effect the lives of the 99%. While moving and beautiful, this is more than art. It represents altruism and it is not for everyone.
The Los Angeles based artist behind Free Humanity stays anonymous to most people. You might recognize some of his vibrant murals, incorporating his favorite icons (Mother Teresa, Frida Kahlo and Audrey Hepburn) and lotus symbols. Whether he plants the tiniest of seeds or fails to move us, he has been giving it a real effort for the last 11 years with no signs of stopping. As an artist myself, I empathize with his struggles to balance art and life. If you follow Free Humanity on social media you might notice his candid honesty. Free Humanity says it like it is, and even chooses to share his struggles with anxiety and depression. We can only hope that when we reflect back on our history, it is the good that wins. Free thinkers and openly vulnerable individuals influence us in the best ways. For this reason, Free Humanity is exactly the kind of human we need right now.
Read our Q & A with the artist himself.
I understand you were an aspiring artist from a young age. Was there a pivotal moment in your life when you decided to become a street artist or was it a natural progression for you?
To be completely honest, I rarely made art until 11 years ago. It was inspired by late night walks around downtown LA. There was not much street art back then. But it inspired me to say something of my own on the streets. I remembered seeing street art by artists like work restitution press, Cryptik, and Kiosk. Those artists kind of inspired me to put my own message on the streets.
Did you attend art school or are you self-taught? How long have you been doing street art?
I am 100% from the ghetto and come from an immigrant low income family, so the the privilege of any option outside from public school was never possible for me. I am 100% self taught and I started putting art into the streets 11 years ago.
Has your art always been colorful and message driven or has your style evolved over time?
I always thought that the public needed more positivity and color and that has always been my goal. However, my style has definitely evolved over time. I started with making one layer stencils to slowly making more realistic deeply layered stencils to eventually learning how to oil paint photo realism.
Do you ever get discouraged and what drives you to continue making art?
I’m constantly discouraged by Instagram algorithms. I guess what drives me is the enjoyment of the process. I enjoy painting for 12 hours at a time, 7 days a week and it is that enjoyment that drives me. I can only hope the rest of the world appreciates the outcome.
Do you pay attention to reactions about your art? And do you think you have been successful in waking up humanity to become free thinkers, instead of followers?
I try not to let people’s opinions influence me. Most of my work is inspired by personal events in my life, so I don’t believe the public understands what I am trying to say with my work and I try to let my heart guide me. I’m not too sure if I will ever be successful in helping society become free thinkers. All I can hope for is to plant some positive seeds in hopes they would be watered and bloom later.
What do you believe are the most important issues facing the world today?
Our food, climate, politics, and the military industrial complex which is rarely talked about. The U.S. Senate voted to give the military $716 billion for 2019 that’s over 55 percent of the federal budget. While school art programs are at an all time low. Which in turn, pumps out workers and soldiers instead of free thinkers.
What is the significance of certain symbols in your art? (lotus flower, hearts, old hollywood actors, such as audrey Hepburn)
The diamond in the lotus is a literal translation of the 1st written chant in Sanskrit. Hearts are a universal symbol that I feel everyone can relate to.
As far as iconic humans I try to represent humanitarians in my work or great artists. Audrey in particular was a Goodwill Embassador for UNICEF and went to Africa to help feed starving children
What is the most important message you would like to send out to the public about your art?
Love, consciousness, and all sentient beings deserve a life free of suffering.
What advice would you give to young artists today, whether street or otherwise?
Most importantly have fun and say something.
You can purchase prints and originals here.