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THE DEFINITIVE AFRICAN GRAFFITI & STREET ART WEBSITE.

This blog features news, pictures and event info to keep you updated with what is happening in the world of South African graffiti and street art.

EVENT \\ Live Exhibition: GATHER (Augustine Kofie & Paul Senyol)

GATHER

A two-man ‘live art’ show by Augustine Kofie (USA) and Paul Senyol (RSA)

12 - 27 October 2012
The Lovell Gallery
139 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town

PRESS RELEASE

This October The Lovell Gallery in association with Salon91 Contemporary Art Collection presents GATHER an exhibition by visual artists Augustine Kofie and Paul Senyol, whose works grace the streets and galleries of LA and Cape Town, respectively. GATHER will include works by the individual artists in their signature styles, collaborative works by Kofie and Senyol, as well as a true pièce de résistance, a historic racing Porsche 911, which will be transformed into an object of art inside the gallery from the 16th to the 19th Oct as part of this exhibition. This Art Porsche will then race in the endurance challenges of the International Springbok Series in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth starting in November this year.

Augustine Kofie (born 1973) is a self-taught artist living and working in Los Angeles. He has exhibited extensively worldwide with seminal shows in New York, California, Japan, The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. The artist has been featured in Juxtapoz, The Huffington Post, LA Weekly, Project Room and Studio Voice. Kofie is internationally renowned for his awe-inspiring technical skills, employed to create his unique abstract compositions, characterized by simple geometric shapes, exact lines and smooth colour – complex yet elegant and in a league of their own. He has just completed shows in London and Turin Italy, and is in Cape Town for three weeks only on a residency with The Lovell Gallery.

Paul Senyol (born 1980) has been drawing and painting since his early high school years, however never pursuing any form of artistic training. Graffiti and street artists such as Marc Gonzales, Ed Templeton, and Barry McGee have all been major influences in his work, and in later years, the artistic genius of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, and Cy Twombly. The absence of formal training has given the artist the freedom to break away from traditional notions of painting, to explore a variety of genres and styles, and to meld mediums, allowing him a creative freedom that flows so evidently through his works. Senyol’s art lingers gracefully and intentionally between beauty and honesty and brings a surreal, yet abstract world into being. Geometry, line, shape, composition, typography, abstraction and colour form the key elements in his work. Senyol has exhibited extensively throughout South Africa and has shown in a number of exhibitions in Europe. He currently works from a studio in Woodstock, Cape Town, and is represented by Salon91 Contemporary Art Collection.

Kofie and Senyol have both succeeded in developing their own unique abstract- and street- inspired artistic identities without any formal training. Process, balance, geometry, layering and typography are common elements, which link these artists’ works together. The pairing of Kofie and Senyol’s practice in GATHER results in a richly diverse visual dialogue and outcome, coexisting beautifully and harmoniously within the gallery space. GATHER further invites the viewer to be witness to the art-making process of two original contemporary street- and fine-artists in their own right. A world-class exhibition not to be missed!


Gallery hours: Tue – Fri 10am - 6pm; Sat 10am – 2pm (Closed on Mondays)

Contact:

Brendon van Kraayenburg (Gallery Manager):
084 627 2951 / 021-447-5918

info@lovellgallery.co.za

or Tamzin Lovell Miller (Gallery Owner):
079 176 4292 / 021 447 5918

tamzin@lovellgallery.co.za

The conclusion of the exhibition will be celebrated on the 25th of October at 6.30pm where one can view the finished works…

>> www.lovellgallery.co.za

EVENT \\ Street Art Discussion

Street Art Discussion Forum

Wednesday 17 October 2012, 16:00 – 18:00
The Lovell Gallery, 139 Albert Road, Woodstock.

As part of the process toward drafting a Public Art Regulatory Framework, the City of Cape Town’s Arts and Culture Department, in partnership with the Lovell Gallery, will be hosting a public discussion that addresses the politics and practices around contemporary street art. This will be followed by a film screening of a street art documentary.

The discussion will be chaired by Zayd Minty; Manager of the City’s Arts and Culture Department. Panelists include: Farzanah Badsha (Creative Cape Town) and Roger van Wyk (Educentric cc) Augustine Kofie (international street artist), Ricky-Lee Gordon (Word of Art). The forum invites a discussion around cultural processes and practices of street art.

Grant Pascoe, the Mayoral Committee member for the Tourism, Events and Marketing Directorate has the following to say: “The City of Cape Town is committed to enabling creativity in our city. The World Design Capital 2014 accolade is evidence of our growing stature as a cultural capital. The promotion of Public Art, including Street Art, is critical to a city with aspirations to foster creativity. For this reason we are pleased to have brought this forum of artists, industry leaders and cultural practitioners to discuss Public Art. This forum is part of the City’s ongoing attempts to nurture local art and artists, to beautify and enliven city spaces and to create an enabling environment for public art”.

The following issues will also be tabled for public discussion: Street Art in the Social and Political life of the City, Street Art as Fine Art – addressing street art as visual culture and Public / Street Art Policies both nationally and internationally.

To confirm your attendance, please RSVP to Nikita Campbell:
Nikita.Campbell@capetown.gov.za / 021 417 4095

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Motel7 - Daydreamers

Motel7 - Daydreamers

16 October 2012 - 10 November 2012

After her initial solo exhibition, Tears and Castles, at 34 Long Fine Art in 2009, Motel7 left South Africa to work in Europe and America. Having returned to South Africa she has reclaimed her position on the streets and in the gallery environment.

Mors ultima ratio’ 2012
60X80cm
acrylic on canvas

After working in traditional mediums from an early age, Motel7 has moved through the ranks of graffiti to street art and like many international artists, such as Banksy, Mr. Brainwash, Miss Van, Blek le Rat, D*Face and Nick Walker, she has secured her position as an acclaimed urban contemporary artist. Since then her work has been featured in numerous international exhibitions, including the Basel Art Fairs, as well as galleries in Amsterdam and Los Angeles. Motel7 continues to hone her skills in urban spaces whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself.

Increasingly street artists occupy both urban and fine art environments. In cities like Cape Town, where street art is still illegal, artworks seldom remain on the walls for long enough to be fully appreciated before being cleaned off or defaced. Ironically, while the value of works in urban spaces is often overlooked, within the gallery environment these same works are approached with a more appreciative eye.

Reincarnation’ 2012
100X140cm
acrylic on canvas

‘Daydreamers’, Motel7’s second solo show, affirms the ease with which she straddles the divide between urban and gallery spaces - where the traditional process of work progressing from gallery environment to museum or public commission, is reversed. The exhibition is presented in her unique visual idiom, built-up over years of working in a challenging environment. The seemingly juxtaposed images of sculls, toys, fruit and sweets are complimented by the vintage quality of the paintings… it’s all about symbolizing daydreaming and nostalgia and the past.

Street art and graffiti are closely associated, but are often regarded as vandalism - evidence of urban decay - in stark contrast to gallery art, which is seen as the epitome of artistic achievement. ‘Daydreamers’ demonstrates that it is not these works themselves which are different, but rather the contexts within which they are viewed.

This exciting exhibition opens tomorrow evening at 18:34.


34FineArt
Second Floor Hills Building, Buchanan Square
160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday - Friday 10:34-16:34
Saturday 10:34-13:34

>> www.34fineart.com/

PICS \\ I Art Joburg: Main Murals

Pictures of the main walls painted at I ART JOBURG

An exhibition, which features all the artists that participated, is currently being held at AREA3, 20 Kruger Street in the Maboneng Precinct. It will run for two months before it moves to Cape Town in 2013.

AFRICA \\ Trebelsi House Graffiti

Graffiti in the former Trebelsi family house in La Marsa, Tunisia:

Photos by Bouthayna Bekri
Thanks to Nana Spio-Garbrah

EVENT \\ Exhibition: ‘The Tropic of Soda’ & ‘Time, Time, Time’

The Tropic of Soda - An Exhibition of Drawings by Jean de Wet.

A series of detailed drawings that explores and describes a remote cluster of islands, mutating and evolving for centuries off an unknown and mysterious coast. With the first records of this new and unknown ecology, Jean de Wet presents a strange and opulent world with his idiosyncratic use of dense and hypnotic line work.

Jean works with dip pen and ink on paper of all sizes and will also present a variety of printed matter for this exhibition.

The Tropic of Soda will be the first solo exhibition taking place at /A WORD OF ART.


TIME, TIME, TIME is a new and ongoing collaborative project between Jean de Wet and Cool de Suck (Black Koki and Ello).

Drawing and good times will be exhibited as a silkscreen print and some results from the process.

Both open on October 11th.

>> MORE INFO

AFRICA \\ Graffiti in Ethiopia

Graffiti in G’eez, in Addis Ababa…

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Fuzzy Slipperz in Germany

Vuka Kwedini” will be Mr Fuzzy Slipperz’ first show in Germany and will take place at the Raum Für Drastische Maßnahmen, opening on the 11th of October 2012. Following his first solo show in Cape Town “Something has changed in me” (2010)

The title of the exhibition “Vuka kwedini” means ‘Wake Up Boy’ in Xhosa which is his mother tongue. The title and theme from this line of works seeks to portray our different states of consciousness. Illustrating that though we are awake and seem present, our minds wander off to different internal realms and realities, as if our bodies are walking, talking shells and our minds a vast playground for the imagination. Whether consciously or subconsciously we are constantly playing out our ambitions, anxieties, memories, fears and aspirations and are even able to deal with our troubles and love life this way. “Vuka Kwedini”(Wake Up Boy) is the voice that snaps us back into the real world, like a parent waking their child for school.

>> RSVP on Facebook

Ben Slow (UK) in Soweto - Anti-Apartheid Struggle Mural

British artist Ben Slow has painted a large mural of Ruth First in Nomzamo Park informal settlement in Orlando East, Soweto. Starting on National Heritage day (24 September), the 12 foot tall painting was completed in five days using ink and brush and spray paint.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Ruth First by a letter bomb in Mozambique. The spot where the painting is located is only a few kilometers from Kliptown where in 1955 the Freedom Charter was adopted by the Congress of the People. This became the central document outlining a vision of an egalitarian and apartheid-free South Africa. Ruth First was in the drafting committee of the charter but could not attend because of her banning orders.

Commenting on the subject of his painting, Ben Slow said:

I am very interested in people who deserve to be immortalised and who have a direct link to where they are painted.”

It has been an incredible experience for me. The people here have been incredibly friendly and welcoming. Life must be difficult here. There are shacks in Nomzamo Park without basic amenities. No electricity. No running water.”

Gillian Slovo, novellist and playwright and Ruth First’s daughter, when asked for her comment about the painting replied:

How wonderful that this painting of Ruth, based on a photo which was her mother’s favourite, should be there amongst a community she cared so deeply about.”

Beauty Mlakalaka, the owner of the small house on which the painting appears, said “I think it is beautiful. Also people must know who this person was and what she did.”

Ruth First was a journalist, academic and a gifted and dedicated political activist. She authored several books including “117 days,” the account of her imprisonment under apartheid’s 90 day law, and “The Barrel of a Gun,” her book about coups in Africa. She also edited a number of books, including Nelson Mandela’s “No Easy Walk to Freedom.” She was married to Joe Slovo who became the Housing Minister in Mandela’s government.

On 17 August 1982, Ruth First was murdered by order of Craig Williamson, a major in the South African Police, when she opened a letter bomb made by Jerry Raven and sent to her university. The Truth and Reconciliation Committee granted amnesty to both Williamson and Raven.

This painting will form part of a film documentary on the anti-apartheid struggle currently being produced by Six Oranges, a London based documentary production unit.

All images and text by Six Oranges (c), with thanks.

AFRICA \\ Misc. Africa

Various art movements and foundations helping to grow the African art community:

Artifariti

http://www.artifariti.blogspot.com/

Destreet Art Foundation, Uganda

http://www.destreetart.webs.com/

Murals For Mali

http://www.muralsformali.blogspot.com/
http://www.muralsformali.tumblr.com/

More international visitors to Africa

SheOne (UK) in The Gambia

http://www.arrestedmotion.com/2012/04/streets-sheone-zionstreet-project-gambia-africa/

Swoon (USA) in Kenya

http://www.brooklynstreetart.com/theblog/2012/03/21/swoon-in-kenya-the-equality-effect-and-160-girls/