Famed street artists all over the world are coming together to help raise funds for a charity that will benefit the physical and emotional health of men.
Movember is a time when men band together and grow their individual "mo" (short for mustaches) out for the greater good of men's health in the month of November. The foundation focuses on raising awareness of diseases such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health issues such as suicide. Men who participate in the Movember Foundation by not shaving off their "mos" are called "Mo Bros."
Recently, The Guardian reported that Movember is also getting support from other men who may or may not have mustaches in November. These men are prolific street artists whose works have been recognized throughout the globe. Famous auction house Sotheby's is hosting a charity sale called Against the Wall which features influential street artist Dean Stockton otherwise known as D*Face. The profits of the Against the Wall sale will go to the Movember Foundation. D*Face has encouraged other famed street artists to join him in the charity event and said that the idea for Against the Wall began when he met Ben Bowers of the Movember Foundation.
“Artists, historically, do struggle with mental illness and feeling isolated and lonely," D*Face said. "...I know I have in the past. I’ve felt very isolated. Our work is very public but in some respects, we are very private and insecure.”
D*Face will be in good company when the Against the Wall sale begins. Among the street artists who are participating in Movember are Shepard Fairey, the street artist who is known for his Barack Obama painting entitled "Hope", which was made famous worldwide in 2008, Invader, a French urban artist, Alexis Diaz, a Puerto Rican muralist and painter, Spanish street artist Okuda, Portuguese artist Vhils, portrait artist Jonathan Yeo, Argentinian-Spanish artist Felipe Pantone and London-based Irish street artist Conor Harrington.
“It gives a great platform to start these conversations around men’s mental health and suicide prevention," Bowers stated. “Everyone has mental health and some struggle with it and for a sector like the art world, for these artists to come out from behind the canvas and speak to their own experiences and show that people aren’t alone … it is a powerful way to put this on the agenda.”
D*Face has a piece called Console the Lonely prepared for the charity sale which features two men comforting each other. “For me, it is about a man comforting another man and not feeling embarrassed or ashamed to do that,” he said about the piece. “Just being able to speak to a friend and ask: ‘Are you going through a hard time? Let’s go for a beer … I’m here for you.’”
Special pieces from these famous street artists will be on display at Sotheby’s London headquarters from Nov. 16-19th for viewing before being put up for auction on Nov. 20, 2018. Proceeds will benefit the Movember Foundation directly by raising awareness for adopting healthier lifestyles, early cancer detection, diagnosis, and effective treatments in men which the foundation hopes will reduce the number of preventable deaths.