South African artist Ricky Lee Gordon completed last Friday this stunning wall as part of this year’s Nuart festival in Stavanger, Norway painted as a part of Amnesty’s Brave campaign as a way to pay tribute to Finish transgender activist Sakris Kupila.

Best known for his massive murals, Ricky Lee Gordon is a street artist who used to work under the pseudonym Freddy Sam for many years. With his work, the talented muralist seeks to highlight big social issues and explore the nature of our contemporary society, being  ‘A truth which is beauty and A beauty which is truth.’ no exception to that rule.

Created within the framework of Amnesty’s “Brave” campaign, the new mural intends to honour (and highlight) the work of Sakris Kupila, a human rights defender from Finland who has fought tirelessly for transgender rights in the face of harassment and intimidation. The mural is art of the Amnesty International’s campaign that uses street art to raise awareness of human rights defenders, and to explore the power of art to push boundaries and stimulate debate.

As expressed by the artist during the Nuart Plus talks last week, the concept behind the mural is based on the concept of interconnectedness, on how everyone, not only royalty and the powerful, deserves to be portrait painted. A mural portrait of Kupila highlights not only her persona, but also the significance of her work.
The title of the mural “A truth which is beauty. A beauty which is truth.” which we can read on the left wall, refers to that fact that real beauty is to be found in truth and it is up to each individual to find it within themselves. In this way, Kupila’s mural honours all those who are  being oppressed, seek freedom and pursue the truth.

Photo © Urbanite

About the artist

Ricky Lee Gordon is a self-taught artist born in Johannesburg South Africa in 1984. Having lived and worked in Cape Town he moved to LA in 2016 to study classical painting. He is well known for his large-scale murals that can be seen in cities all over the world, from New York to Istanbul and Madagascar to Kathmandu.
Ricky has been inspired by his experiences in meditation and Buddhist Dharma (law of nature) and therefore now his paintings explore the nature of non-duality and interconnectedness focusing on bringing to light relevant social issues and universal truths. His intention with his murals is to create artwork that has a connection to the people and place in which he is painting. (read more)


Author: Fran

Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.