Sonny, South African street artist, brings fight for endangered animals to NYC

A South African street artist most known for his spray-painted murals has taken brush to canvas for a never-before-seen exhibit opening in Manhattan next month.

Coming off of a world tour in which he painted murals in cities and rural villages of the Netherlands, Russia, Canada, United States, United Kingdom and other countries, Sonny is launching his “To The Bone” exhibition in a pop-up space at 393 Broadway in lower Manhattan.

The exhibit shines a spotlight on the plight of endangered wildlife around the world through intricate, colorful canvas and sculpture paintings, some of which incorporate over 200 shades of color.

Each canvas portrait depicts an endangered animal — a tiger, a rhino and a gorilla, among them — with part of its head stripped down to the bone; its skull is painted in the pattern of an indigenous tribe where the species originated.

Part of the proceeds from “To The Bone” artwork sales will be donated to Project C.A.T., which seeks to conserve nearly 2 million acres of protected land in India and Bhutan for tigers while working to double their population by 2022. Sonny will also auction one of his original artworks online during the weekend-long exhibit, which runs May 17-19.

“To The Bone” will launch with an opening night event at 7 p.m. on May 17. The public can also view the exhibit from noon to 6 p.m. on May 18 and May 19.