By Howard Halle
Fresh off the unveiling of his East Village mural depicting Michael Jackson, renowned Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra is at it again with another project done in his signature, harlequin-pattern, technicolor style.
Painted on the side of a building on 18th Street and Tenth Avenue in Chelsea, the three-story image features the profiles of Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi, facing each other in a tribute to their roles as two of the world’s greatest humanitarians. Gandhi, of course, led India in its quest for independence from British rule by pursuing a campaign of non-violence that was later emulated by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther during the Civil Rights movement. Mother Teresa, meanwhile, won the Noble Peace Prize, and was granted sainthood by the Catholic Church, for her work ministering to the poor of Calcutta.
Gandhi and Mother Teresa are just some of the famous personalities from history and pop culture that Kobra has immortalized in murals around the world, a roster which includes Anne Frank, Tupac, Neil Armstrong, Nelson Mandela, Bob Dylan—and Yoda. Though he’s created projects from Mumbai and Malawi to Moscow and Minneapolis, the New York City area has always been one of his favorite places to work: Besides this latest project and the one involving Michael Jackson, he put up a monumental mural last year on a Jersey City high-rise that celebrated David Bowie in character as Ziggy Stardust.