In this day and age we’re used to media-savvy street artists such as Banksy earning a fortune in the auction room or Shepard Fairey emblazoning clothing with Andre the Giant.
One particular artist though, has turned his notoriety to something quite different.
His name is BNE.
The eagle-eyed among you may well have seen his painted name or simplistic stickers in major cities around the globe.
He is well travelled, prolific and yet still remains shrouded in anonymity.
Like most street artists, the stickering and painting would at first have meant nothing more than having fun and leaving his mark.
He is though, a man who understands the power of a brand.
Upon realising his name was widely recognised, he decided to use it not for the good of his bank balance, but for the good of the world.
What at first may have been a feverish attempt at faceless, harmless world domination has now become a symbol of positive social change.
BNE has become BNEWATER.
BNEWATER is a registered, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing clean, safe drinking water and basic sanitation for those living in extreme poverty.
Funds are created by simple online donations, the sale of merchandise and crucially, the Artists4Water scheme in which artwork is sold with the proceeds going straight to charity.
BNE’s decision to do something as positive as this is I believe, a lesson to us all about not just what good can be done with a name, but what good can be done with nothing.
So, if you’d like to invest in a painting, make a donation or just get more information, visit: http://bnewater.org and follow him on Twitter
Tom Elliott-Mell - Art director