Mona Caron is a Swiss-born, San Francisco-based artist, using mural-ism, illustration, and photography in both her art and artivism. Her focus is on community-informed and site-specific murals in public space. She has created large-scale murals in the US, Europe, South America, and Asia has delved into stop-motion animation as part of her “WEEDS” project, and co-creates visuals for street actions and outreach with social and environmental movements.
She was born and raised in the wild and verdant Centovalli region of Ticino, Switzerland. Mona owes her love of botany and the natural form to her childhood’s natural surroundings, and to her mother and grandmother’s teachings. She mysteriously inherited her style of depicting plants from her grandfather, a botanical illustrator, even though never close. Her father, theater set designer Peter Bissegger, also influenced her concern with a visual environment’s influence on a viewer’s emotions and vitality.
Mona briefly studied English literature at the University of Zurich before relocating to San Francisco, where she attended the Academy of Art University, graduating with honors BFA in illustration. In the last decade, through her Weeds projects, she had delved into artwork that combines painting with photography, through the creation of stop-motion mural animations and short videos.
Murals in public space are Mona’s primary focus. Her goal is to activate public space by simultaneously creating artwork and interactive street happenings, using the painting’s narratives to spark conversations and critical awareness of the space we share.
Mona’s first decade in mural-ism was defined by extremely site-specific, detailed, and community-immersive narrative murals, reflecting the past, present, and future imaginary of their neighborhoods through a uniquely permeable participatory process, considered part of the artwork. This process has been featured in an Emmy-winning documentary film, “A Brush With the Tenderloin”, and has been the underlying praxis for most of Mona’s work in her hometown of San Francisco.