UnbeLEAFable: A green version of the Mona Lisa

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/15 November) — Mishael Pueblas has something what he calls an “artvocacy.”

In 2009, he started working on a masterpiece using greener art materials to address an environmental message.

That art piece, which took three years to make, is his 21st century rendition of the Mona Lisa. He calls it the Green Mona Lisa–Leonardo da Vinci’s renowned painting remade using…leaves!

“I was inspired by the Japanese leaf artist Kazuo Akasaki,” he said, sharing how he began collecting fallen leaves from his neighborhood, and studying the art form along the way. At times, he’d even take time and effort to “hunt” for certain kinds of leaves that he desires.

One of Mishael Pueblas' works. Photo by Jesse Pizarro Boga
One of Mishael Pueblas’ works. Photo by Jesse Pizarro Boga
Mishael said that white-colored leaves are the most difficult to find.

“I envision the Green Mona Lisa to be an ambassador of environmental consciousness,” he said. “I want to raise [environmental] awareness and encourage people to use green alternatives.”

“If the field of architects can redesign structures with natural lighting to reduce power consumption, I can do the same by using fallen leaves instead of industrial oil paint,” he said.

Aside from the Green Mona Lisa, Mishael (whose brush name is El Pueblas) has also created several leaf paintings. These oeuvres, most of which have varying earthy tones, capture daily life scenes in detail.

His subjects, which appear to be people from the working class, convey to the audience modesty and humility–values that should be engrained in young artists who are still trying to make it to the real world. (Jesse Pizarro Boga/MindaNews)

(Mishael has a BA in communication arts from the University of the Philippines Mindanao. The Green Mona Lisa is on exhibit in the Abreeza Mall until November 23.)