Can Art help protect the Planet and Nature? Like all human activities, Art too has its impact, be it beneficial or negative, on the planet.
Artistic activity can generate waste that is difficult to recycle, especially paints and their containers, which in some cases can even pollute the environment with toxic substances and jeopardize health. Fortunately, in recent years numerous lower impact alternatives have been introduced on the market: they can be selected by more environmentally aware artists.
Nevertheless, Art has always contributed to harmoniously connect man to the natural environment or in some cases, it has highlighted environmental issues, pollution, consumerism and its negative consequences on the environment. From cave paintings to Land Art and from the paintings of the Macchiaioli to the Impressionists, passing through Pop Art and the Futurists, the list of artists somehow aware about environmental problems and the importance of Nature, would be very long.
Among the contemporary artists, Iena Federico «Iena Cruz» Massa, has stood out the most for his activity of environmental awareness and for the use of materials with a lower impact or even beneficial for the environment. For this reason, the World Sustainability Foundation is awarding Iena Cruz as a Sustainable Artist, exhibiting some of his works in the new ‘Sustainable Friends’ Store in Milan, in Galleria Passarella 1. Iena Cruz will be interviewed on April 24th at 18.00 Live on Friend of the Sea and Friend of the Earth Social Media and in person at the Store. The artist will be available to answer questions and for meetings with the Media and the audience, immediately after the interview.
“Our Foundation wants to reward Artists’ environmental and social commitment, as we believe they can convey the principles of sustainability in a very effective way to a wider audience” explains Paolo Bray, founder and director of the World Sustainability Foundation. “Iena Cruz is a real Friend of the Earth, in this sense. We thank him for his tangible commitment to conservation and sustainability. Those who purchase his works will contribute both to more sustainable art as well as to conservation projects.”
“The recognition as a Sustainable Artist conferred on me by the World Sustainability Organization further encourages me to continue towards the goal of contributing with my works to raise awareness and also set a good example by using materials and techniques beneficial to the environment.” comments Iena Cruz.
Federico Massa aka «Iena Cruz», is a Brooklyn based artist from Milan Italy. Globally recognized large scale Mural Artist, highly regarded for his signature mural designs, commissioned to him for his unique style of drawing and painting, using untraditional and unusual combinations of media and technology to express a message on preservation and social-environmental justice issues like climate change.
Murals by Iena Cruz have won prestigious awards for environmental commitment, most notably the Green Point Heart Streets Award in 2020 for New York City’s first carbon-neutral street art painted entirely with large-scale air-purifying anti-pollution paint. scale’, with little or no environmental impact. The mural aims to highlight the link that waterways have with industrialization, climate change, environmental justice and the health and well-being of communities.
Iena Cruz was born in Milan in 1981. In 2006 he graduated in Scenography at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts.
The passion for graffiti was first evident in his childhood, as he had a tendency to write his name all over the walls of his Milan apartment. A habit that, although his mother didn’t like it, laid the foundations for the artistic vocation of his life.
Inspired by California skateboarding culture and brands like Santa Cruz, Massa hit the streets under the alias «Cruz» in the 1990s. By tagging on the streets of Milan, he has come to love the rebellious spirit of the graffiti world, especially the adrenaline rush of painting on moving trains. Moving away from the graffiti style and towards Street Art, he started using the symbol of a hyena (Iena). He was referring to his ability to appear laughing, no matter the circumstances. The alias «Cruz» more frequently became «Iena Cruz».
In 2002, Massa’s artistic career began to progress thanks to the collaboration with «The Bag Art Factory», a collective of painters, sculptors and set designers. This was an eight-year project that provided him with a solid place in the Milanese art scene and an opportunity to explore and experiment on his work with different materials. His desire to better understand the international art world, especially the street art scene, combined with a love of big cities, determines his move to New York City in 2010. He currently resides in Brooklyn.
Iena Cruz’s art has profound social and philosophical meaning that serves all who are touched by his images of spiritual renaissance and oneness with nature. Each one of his art pieces is an offering for dialogue and experience of the higher self of the viewer.
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Sustainable Friends Store: Galleria Passarella 1 – 20122 Milano –
From 10AM to 8PM