French street artist Mantra brings his mother's garden to Versailles with a mural titled Where Amazement Blooms. Mantra is known for his paintings of the natural world, and for this mural, he was inspired by the plants, flowers, and insects he saw growing up. Based on photos taken in his mother's garden, the realistic mural shows butterflies perched on different flowers.
The location of the mural makes the subject all the more appropriate. It was painted on the facade of a building in the Jussieu neighborhood of Versailles. This area is named after French botanist Bernard de Jussieu (1689–1777), which allows Mantra's mural to take on a deeper meaning.
For the French artist, the painting is greatly personal. It recalls his childhood memories—memories that have inspired his profession as an adult. Within the painting, he has tried to create a harmonious balance of elements that mirrors the harmony that he sees in our ecosystem. Just as these insects and plants rely on one another, each element of the mural builds on itself.
The mural is also effective in mimicking the bokeh effect of Mantra's photographs, which have a shallow depth of field. His ability to recreate this effect gives a photorealistic look to the finished piece. By combining his personal interests and artistic skills, Mantra has breathed new life into this area of Versailles.