Skip to Content

If you've been in a city anywhere on earth in the past decade or so, you've seen BNE 参上. Now, the artist behind the ubiquitous stickers and tags has created something unique in the graffiti movement-- a social campaign called the BNE Water foundation that aspires to be a global movement dedicated to bringing clean, safe water, and sanitation to people living in extreme poverty.

One billion people on earth do not have access to clean drinking water. 42,000 people die every week due to unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions and 90% of these deaths are children under five. BNE wants to find a solution, using the goodwill and press he's achieved through years of spreading BNE around the world. Read the artists' statement below and find out how to get involved:

Hello. My name is BNE. I am a graffiti writer. I started writing my name in the streets when I was a teenager in the 90’s. I covered the city with my tag and then worked my way across the country. As the years passed I traveled the world and covered a large part of the earth with my logo, learning different languages and cultures along the way.

Before long, I had created a globally recognized brand that offered no product or service. To me this is art. My work has also amounted to what is basically a multi-million dollar international ad campaign. The campaign has reached millions of people and has awed some of the world’s largest ad agencies.

As my fame grew, I started getting a lot of offers from individuals and companies looking to use my life’s work to advertise whatever they had to sell. They were truly greedy, selfish people who did not care about me, graffiti culture, or anything else other than profits. Encountering these people only added to my already growing disgust of human greed. That disgust would ultimately push me towards my true calling.

I realized that with my art I had a global voice and not to use it for good would be a waste. I needed to use this brand that I created to make some sort of positive social change.

In my travels, I have been to some of the world’s poorest slums and have seen the extreme poverty and 
horrible injustices that billions of people suffer through. After a lot of thought, over one year of research, and a chance encounter with a poor Indonesian woman, I concluded to what I could do that would have the biggest impact on poverty. Providing clean water and sanitation solutions to people in developing countries is what really needs to be done.

Fully motivated, I had to figure out how I was going to help make a difference. Since I am an expert in guerrilla marketing and advertising, spreading the word is the relatively easy part. The main challenge 
would be actually raising money.

I’ve always thought that it was a shame that there are so many artists around the world and we have never all tried to unite for a single cause. I have come up with a way for us to do that and its actually pretty simple and very doable. All it takes for us to save millions of lives is for each one of us to donate one work of art and recruit two of our peers to do the same. Gradually the movement will spread throughout the entire art community around the world. The Artists 4 Water gallery will raise millions of dollars to fight the world water crisis and save millions of lives. Each contributing artist’s talent and influence will also raise awareness and help bring worldwide attention to our cause.

Graffiti’s original purpose was to give a voice to the voiceless. There are billions of people living in poverty with no voice at all. I want to let all my fellow graffiti writers and artists know that if we simply lend our voices to these people, we CAN change the world.

Not all of us are artists or art collectors and I want everyone to be able to be a part of this movement. So, in addition to traditional donation based fundraising methods, I decided to create a line of BNE products to energize people and spread the word even further. 100% of profits from these products will be used to cover our expenses and fund clean water projects. You can get involved and support by simply buying something that you would normally buy anyway. This gives people an effective but not invasive way to rally around this important cause. BNE products will raise money, create awareness, and further challenge consumers to think about what or who is actually behind a brand. Everyday, consumers are waking up, they are starting to think about who they are actually giving their money to. People are growing more aware and are beginning to demand more from companies. In the future all brands will have to start actually caring, instead of just creating the illusion that they do.

BNE is no longer about me as an artist. It has become a voice for the victims of social injustice who have no voice. BNE is a movement with supporters from all walks of life all over the world, and we are growing everyday.

Join us and be apart of something REAL.

If we don’t this then who will?

Peace & Love


Photo by Masta Ace 2

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

The Five Best Tacos in South Gate

From a spot that uses a unique Michoacán-style "salsa agridulce" to a fish taquería where the batter stays crispy, next time you're in SELA, now you know! Southeast Los Angeles, presente!

June 13, 2024

Black Music Month: Five California-Based Baddies Taking Over The Music Industry

From Sacramento to Slauson Hills and Pasadena, these emerging California-raised artists are representing the state's current hip-hop and R&B scenes.

Open Thread: What Is L.A.’s Most Overrated Dish?

Dry donuts you drove an hour for? "Texas-style" tacos you just don't seem to get? That mean Michelin-recognized chef's new place?

Here’s Everything You’ll Eat at The Clippers’ New Intuit Dome

Sushi-dogs, three meat pizza, and churros that put all other stadium concessions to shame.

Building Generational Wealth Through Estate Planning: How to Apply for L.A. County’s ‘Leaving a Legacy’ Program

Only one-third of Americans have a will, with even lower figures in Black (23%) and Latino (18%) communities. The full impact of this problem is often only felt after a loved one passes away or when an adult with a disability or an older adult doesn’t have a Power of Attorney in place. 

June 11, 2024
See all posts