These Artists Are Taking Environmental Issues to the Streets

NEVERCREW’s larger-than-life murals draw attention to our uneven relationship with nature—and it’s hard to look away.

“Black machine,” Teatro Colosseo, Torino, Italy, 2015


The immediacy of city life can make it all too easy to think of environmental woes as being the problems of faraway places. But two Switzerland-based street artists who call themselves NEVERCREW make humanity’s fraught relationship with nature impossible for urbanites to ignore.

Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni have been working together since meeting 20 years ago at the Liceo Artistico C.S.I.A., an art school in Lugano, Switzerland. And they’ve clearly hit their stride. NEVERCREW has introduced its skillfully executed and unique pieces, like oil-dipped polar bears and commodified whales, to walls in cities around the world, including New Delhi; Belgrade, Serbia; Munich; Hamburg, Germany; Manchester, England; and Rochester, New York. The artists recently completed their latest paintings, a two-part series of a bear and a whale trapped inside a plastic bottle, for the Vancouver Mural Festival and Denmark's WE AArt Festival.

The duo’s recent large-scale murals feature stunningly realistic mash-ups between wildlife and industrial objects. The combination forces viewers to confront themes like climate change, pollution, and the exploitation of natural resources—systems in which we all participate, however unwittingly.

This article was originally published on onEarth, which is no longer in publication. onEarth was founded in 1979 as the Amicus Journal, an independent magazine of thought and opinion on the environment. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. This article is available for online republication by news media outlets or nonprofits under these conditions: The writer(s) must be credited with a byline; you must note prominently that the article was originally published by and link to the original; the article cannot be edited (beyond simple things such grammar); you can’t resell the article in any form or grant republishing rights to other outlets; you can’t republish our material wholesale or automatically—you need to select articles individually; you can’t republish the photos or graphics on our site without specific permission; you should drop us a note to let us know when you’ve used one of our articles.

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