THE FACES OF CLIMATE CHANGE
The threat of rising sea levels is being graphically represented in a series of ‘disappearing’ portraits painted by Hawaiian surfer-turned-artist Sean Yoro, who uses tidal movements to reinforce his message. Typically painted on sea walls and similar structures in various parts of the world, the portraits are only entirely visible twice a day – at low tide. The objective, says Yoro, is to “ignite a sense of urgency towards climate change in those who stumble upon these murals.”
His portraits usually take anything from a day to three or four days to complete, depending on size and detail. He uses traditional oil paint, even though it doesn’t last as long as acrylic paint. But he prefers oil because its transience underscores the point about climate change: “life is precarious.”
The paint is custom-designed – it’s completely non-toxic, dries quickly and is able to withstand being submerged underwater, albeit for a limited time. The paintings generally last two to three months, but depending on local conditions they could last up to two years.
To complete the murals Yoro has to work around the tides – and at all hours of the day/night – racing to complete sections before they’re covered again.