Youri Cansell, also known as Mantra is a consummate artist and naturalist, and is internationally recognised for his large-scale murals of butterfly collections in his usual trompe-l'œil style. While equally adept at painting humans as well as animals, Mantra is especially fascinated by Entomology, the world of insects. Mining memories of his childhood garden in France, he now paints moths and butterflies on canvases and buildings all over the world.
With acute sensitivity to his surroundings, Mantra works to create organic relationships between his subjects and their environments. His renderings of infinitely varied species are always spectacularly beautiful and scientifically accurate to the last detail. Poignantly, he usually depicts these creatures as lifeless specimens displayed in an exhibit case, a heart-breaking comment on lost biodiversity.