Street Art Is (Also) Good For Mental Health
by Luisa Grigoletto
For over ten years, the Movember Foundation has been organizing events to promote overall men’s health, both physical and mental, with campaigns specifically dedicated to the prevention of prostate cancer and depressive disorder. As the name suggests (Movember is a mix between Moustaches and November), appointments are usually held in November, and, for the occasion, the participants grow moustaches to support the cause and raise awareness.
This year, one of the events will coincide with an important auction dedicated to contemporary art, titled Contemporary Curated, at the Sotheby’s London branch. On November 20, the works of nine street artists, grouped under the title of Against The Wall, will be presented to the public. The artists involved, all famous world-wide, are Shepard Fairey, Jonathan Yeo, Invader, D * Face, Alexis Diaz, Okuda, Vhils, Felipe Pantone and Conor Harrington. All proceeds from the sale of their works that day will be donated to Movember.
This particular version of the initiative was conceived by D * Face (aka Dean Stockton, artist and gallery owner), who created a work entitled “Console the Lonely”. The aim is to encourage contemporary debate on mental health, and promote dialogue on issues such as suicide prevention. Indeed, all the works included in the Against The Wall section are designed to raise awareness among visitors and buyers on the subject of male mental illnesses.
In a recent interview, D*Face explained the reason that led him to participate and promote the event:
“I strongly believe Street Art has the ability to breach the social stigma of men’s mental health – to collapse this invisible boundary that’s causing men to keep their struggles to themselves. It’s no secret that many artists across history, including myself, have battled with issues of isolation and loneliness. What Street Art brings to the table for both artist and viewer alike is a catalyst for conversation, a common point of reference for casual discussion and precisely what men struggling with their mental health are in need of.”
Complementing the selection of original works available at Sotheby’s, the StolenSpace gallery will offer, through its website, a limited number of exclusive prints produced by the artists involved in the project.