An M.I.A Painting is Being Auctioned to Benefit the Amazon Rainforest



If one thinks about it, the Amazon Rainforest was one of the first few global pop culture causes célèbre (Amnesty International was another), with ’80s pop stars like Sting and Peter Gabriel rankling the Reaganites by throwing benefit concerts and generally going on about the urgency to save it from reckless (i.e. capitalist) destruction.

16-year-old environmental wunderkind Great Thurnberg was certainly not even a twinkle in her parents eyes when all that was happening – though her opera singer mom Sara Magdalena Ernman was probably a Sting fan. And environmental hand-wringing has long since turned decisively towards the melting of the Arctic ice shelf, and, perhaps even more viscerally, the plastic-fueled destruction of our oceans. But with some 40,000 (seriously, that’s the number) fires raging across the Amazon these past several months, attention has suddenly swung attention back to the perpetually endangered region spread across Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.



Never one to miss out on a good storming of the barricades, now (apparently) retired musical firebrand M.I.A. has just put up for auction one of what she calls her Fly Pirate paintings – which actually seems to be a parrot in full psychedelic regalia; it’s absolutely gorgeous, with even a slight bit of a Basquiat vibe. Proceeds will be going – as you might have guessed – to benefit Amazon Watch, which has been endeavoring to protect the rainforest and its indigenous peoples for some 23 years.

“It’s my way of contributing to an on going struggle to protect what is important,” she insists. “Nature, oxygen, endangered species. ”

The bidding for the painting will carry on until until Wednesday, November 27, at 6pm EST – and bids can be sent directly to Should you need further inspiration to join in the auction, just heed the always incisive words of Ms. Maya herself: “Plastic vs. nature / Don’t destroy nature / Don’t destroy art.”




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