Louis Masai Michel is an urban artist, DJ and environmentalist living in London. He is passionate about endangered animals and uses his art to highlight their cause on the streets of London, Bristol and Capetown…
His London home is filled with his art and African artefacts. I love this basic wooden staircase set against the plants and his wonderful painting of a leopard that sits so perfectly at the bottom of the stairs…
Above: The home is practical as well as beautiful with bikes being stored beneath the stairs.
Below: I love the terracotta figures, the basic floor and the plants.
Louis’s bedroom is in the loft and the room is maximised by the platform. The roof windows add light and again the plants add life…
Louis’ parents were also artists. His father was born in a mud hut in Cameroon, north-west Africa and was the only white boy in the village. His mother and father met at art school, but went on to run a restaurant in the UK. Masai found the best way to spend time with his father was to join him when he painted after work as a means of relaxation.
Masai trained in Fine Art at Falmouth University in Cornwall, UK and began his street art career in Cornwall. But it was while travelling in South America and seeing the incredible street art there that really influenced him.
Louis is into music as well as art and often DJ’s at the opening of one of his gallery shows.
All of Louis’s work centres around animals, and most recently he has used it to bring attention to endangered species. His series of work include ‘Save Our Bees’ and ‘Last of My Kind.’ Even in urban London many creatures are endangered, including the bee.
Above: SAVE THE BEES in Brick Lane, Shoreditch, London UK
Louis says, “My recent documentation of endangered creatures and raising of awareness of statistics has on occasions brought the notion of activism to light. I find this title a bit daunting as I only see myself as an artist but I definitely see the power of visual language upon a wider audience and im enjoying utilising that power via my murals and the modern world of social networking.”
Above: PARAKEET in Camden, London.
The parakeet and other artworks are part of Masai’s awareness project in collaboration with Synchronicity Earth and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) to raise greater consciousness about human impact on UK animals.
Above: American Bullfrog in Camden, London as part of a campaign by the IUCN and Synchronicity Earth
The photos are by Toby Madden.
Above: Stag Beetle on Atlantic Road, Brixton
If you would like to find out more about Masai you can visit his website here
If you would like to find out more about Synchronicity Earth click here
If you would like to find out more about IUCN click here
To read a wonderful interview with Masai and see more of his home visit Slanted Mansion here
And I’ll sign out with a great You Tube interview
words: CAND JUSKUS