Danilo Omwisye: the Unstoppable Force of Nature


The Brazilian street artist Danilo Omwisye (who also works under the name Zéh Palito) loves nature and wants to encourage human city-dwellers the world over to once again look at nature with a bit of wonder.  His brightly colored murals feature plant and animal life coexisting peaceably amidst surreal set-pieces of rainbows; aside from being beautiful pieces of public art that one could stop to look at on the way to perform the daily chores, many of these pieces possess a hint of narrative and Mr. Omwisye wisely provides enough to fill in the absent gaps, giving the observer something to take with them, something to consider.
Take the above image as an example, with its irregularly spaced proclamation “WE A   RE     O    N      E” directly underneath the woman’s face, the skull, and the deer’s head as a rising and setting sun frame the cranial tableau.  Directly below the skull we have the “O” of “one”, yet here it is acting as another sign, a zero – we know the implications nothingness, death – and in this way Mr. Omwisye hammers the point home that while we may read the message, much like the woman of the mural it will not be until we go through this most extreme of transitions that we will truly understand the message.  But notice how the “we are” fragment of the phrase is all clustered around the woman’s face AND remember that we are not looking at three distinct figures here but one entity going through a transformation.  “Are” brings to mind Descartes and his famous proposition which declares that thinking proves our existence, but do we humans know that deer think like we do? I would say not.  So then if death is not the end of our experience (as this mural shows) and if the oneness that the writing is aiming toward about is not concerned exclusively with the harmony between humankind and beast, then we understand the “we” of the phrase – remember where it is located – to be speaking of the human family – the “we” of all of us people that might walk by this mural and admire its composition and execution.
Maybe if we all thought about that when we passed it, some of the world’s darkness would be dispelled to make room for more of the light that Mr. Omwisye and others like him are trying to bring into it.  Please enjoy these other pieces without my prattling on:

danilo2 danilo3 SONY DSC danilo6

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