"I wanted the face to reflect a paradigm shift toward globalization, global identity and global responsibility. You will see a myriad of flesh tones in the face. This is a mother earth figure, which is a composite of all of its children."

This Giant Mural in Oakland, California Commemorates the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations

On June 26, 1945 representatives of 50 countries gathered in San Francisco sign the the United Nations Charter, the treaty that gave birth to the United Nations.

To commemorate the event the artist Zio Ziegler painted a huge mural in downtown Oakland. His work was created to both honor the ideals of the United Nations and reflect the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which the United Nations will set as its key international development targets for the next 15 years.

Ziegler is famous for using complex patterns to convey big ideas. These photos, taken over three days during the painting of the mural, offer an inside look at how this piece was created and the inspirations behind it. “The viewer is far more important than the artist, so their projections into the works itself and the conclusions they draw from viewing the work becomes the substance of the work,” he says. “I am just the catalyst.”

It officially opens later this week. Click on the images to open the slideshow and hear directly from Zio.

Photo Credits: Sorell Tsui