Mona Caron has made a name for herself painting massive, building-sized murals of local plants (and sometimes people) with hidden messages. As the daughter of a Swiss theatre and opera set designer, Caron grew up surrounded by art and nature in Canton Ticino, an Italian-speaking section of Switzerland. The artist attended the San Francisco Academy of Art and Illustration, and eventually settled permanently in California.
Caron focuses mostly on painting weeds in urban areas because she is inspired by the plants’ indomitable spirit. No matter how often you pull them out and build over them and cover them up, weeds always find a way to reclaim at least some of their territory. So the artist decided to paint “heroic” portraits of the humble plants.
“Several of these murals contain intricate miniature details, invisible from afar. These typically narrate the local history, chronicle the social life of the mural’s immediate surroundings, and visualize future possibility, and are created in a process that incorporates ideas emerging through spontaneous conversations with the artwork’s hosting communities while painting.”
One of my favorite among her works is the 160-foot-high two-part mural she did in Quito, Ecuador, in 2018 in support of the Andean women whose families have been growing native corn and beans for many generations. The video below explains their plight.