Publisher Lannoo publishes the first overview book by the artist ROA. The book, entitled CODEX, contains more than 350 pages and is a selective overview of the work of the famous Belgian artist. It has 4 geographically subdivided chapters: Eurasia, Africa, America, and Oceania.
The 'street artist' ROA started his outdoor activities for the first time by painting on buildings and warehouses in his hometown of Ghent. Today, his black and white murals characteristics can be admired worldwide.
ROA always paints with local animal species: he gives to mammals, birds, fish, insects and other endangered or extinct animals a prominent place in the areas they inhabit. Not only the place but also the architecture on which he places his paintings is important. His images are a dialogue between the place, the architecture and his creativity. It is remarkable that he works directly on the wall, without sketching or projecting in advance.
Because of the scale and precision with which they are painted, the animals get something triumphant. They are robust and lively, never pathetic or dead, even if they are depicted dead. ROA is fascinated by anatomy and seems to climb into the skin of his subjects and to animate them. However, there is also an ironic tone in their visual monumentality, since the 'dominant species' is not the animal kingdom, but the human being.
“Discovering nature, more specifically the animal world, can lead to more empathy. It teaches you something essential about how to live a good life. ”