A few months ago, residents on Ambergris Caye began wondering of the origin of the painted flowers that popped throughout the island. Rebecca Coutant of San Pedro Scoop took on the case, digging online in an effort to discover the elusive creator of this great mystery. Her investigative skills creamed the amateur sleuths who had tried to find out about the flowers, and The San Pedro Sun is happy to report that the flower images are the work of US artist Michael De Feo. The graffiti – with a positive message – is painted throughout international cities worldwide and has been De Feo’s work for over 20 years.

In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, De Feo explained the purpose of the flowers that has garnered him international attention. “They’re part of a worldwide street art project that I started over twenty years ago in New York. It’s the only image I repeat, the other street pieces and projects I’ve done are all different. The flower image has come to be what I’m most recognized for. It’s about sharing and spreading smiles. It’s also about discovery; since people begin to notice them throughout the city they’re in or throughout their travels. I was already using the streets for my work in the early 1990’s when I came up with the flower image. I stumbled upon it, really. I was warming up for a painting session by illustrating images of butterflies, kittens and flowers. I had filled a wall with these images and this one single flower was situated in the middle of it all. It just seemed to leap off the surface with its presence. I made a silk screen out of it and soon had printed hundreds in all colors of the rainbow. The next logical thing to me was to paste them all over town and share them with others.”

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