Graffiti South Africa The definitive African graffiti and street art website.

WELCOME TO GRAFFITI SOUTH AFRICA
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 \\ Langa Quarter Street Art & Graffiti Contest

Creative Nestlings invites you to partake in the inaugural annual public art competition, using the power of public art to add life to nondescript parts of the city. They are looking for the best artists to assist in the transformation of the Langa Quarter located in the geographic centre of Cape Town.

The artists will all be required to paint a section of the wall outside Langa Stadium, and the best artwork will be awarded a grand prize. Only 17 artists will be chosen by the curatorial panel - the whole wall will be divided into 17 pieces. Artists are free to apply as a collective or as an individual.

All participants will be given a 2m X 8m sized panel of wall to paint on, limited amount of spray paint, 3 days to finish the artwork.

The process:

  • Painting to take place weekends of 14- 16 or 20-23 December (however alternative dates can be negotiated)
  • All paintings done before the 24th December
  • Final Judging takes place and winner announced on the 24th December
  • Curatorial panel includes Creative Nestlings, Langa Quarter, Langa Stadium Forum members and representatives of Langa residents.
  • Final judging will be open to public vote, in the form of a ballot box at the stadium.
  • Prize R6000 in cash money + permission to paint another wall in Langa + 1 commissioned wall in Cape Town CBD.

To enter:

  • Submit a proposed sketch to: info@creativenestlings.com
  • Chosen participants will be informed.

>> MORE INFO

EVENT \\ Exhibition: lost/found

Revolution presents:
lost / found

Verb 2013 Artist Series Range Launch &
lost/found: an exhibition of exploration

Verb Artist Skateboard Range 2013:
Daniel Ting Chong, Gerard Human, Hanno Van Zyl, Jade Klara, Justin Southey, Jaco Haasbroek

And artists:
Paul Senyol, Simon Berndt, Jason de Villiers, Dani Loureiro, Ninja Bread Boy, Motel 7, Justin Poulter, Cassandra Johnson, Nicola De Jager, Matthew Oldfield, Candice Jezek aka Z, Chris Valentine, Michael Dos Ramos.

DJ’s on vinyl from Roastin’ Records
Cash bar

Opening: 28 November 2013, 7 - 10pm
Revolution, The Woodstock Exchange, 66 Albert Road, Woodstock

A portion of proceeds from the evening will go to Milkshed; a not-for-profit business that uses reclaimed wood to create furniture and rebuild schools.

>> MORE INFO

EVENT \\ Sins of Style - Insider Art

This Friday the 29th of November, Sins of Style will be hosting INSIDER ART, an exhibition of new and original artwork from Tyler B. Murphy, Lee Herbert, Warren Petersen, Wanjuschko Velimirov, Kaptain Cade and Irish James.

Enjoy a few drinks, a relaxed braai snack and check out the artwork on display.

There will be a collection of limited edition individual artist t-shirts for sale on the night.

22 Hope Street, Gardens, Cape Town
FRIDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2013, 3pm - Late…

Please email to let them know you’ll be joining.
sinsofstyletattoo@gmail.com

facebook.com/sinsofstyle
sinsofstyle.com

EVENT \\ Ho! Ho! Ho! Graff Jam

Caps & Cans will be holding a graffiti competition at the old sewerage farm in Kempton Park.

The theme will be Christmas - colours red, green, white etc.

Prizes by Caps & Cans and Redbull for best piece and best character.

>> MORE INFO

AFRICA \\ More Muro in Senegal (2011)

These 2011 works are a lot more ‘street-arty’…

AFRICA \\ New Graffiti Art in Madagascar

Exclusive pics from Seth Globepainter in Madagascar. This recent event was hosted by Jace, who returned to the island along with other international street artists.

Great new works by the likes of Aryz, Bo130, Microbo, and Kid Kreol & Boogie. Take a look:

Aryz (Spain):

Bo130 (Italy):

CartOne:

Jace (Reunion Island):

Kid Kreol & Boogie (Reunion Island):

Microbo:

Psy156:

Seth (France):

Thanks to Seth for sharing his pictures with us!

AFRICA \\

In 2011 a group of Street Artists united in Gambia with the basic idea to turn villages in the area (falling under the Ballabu Conservation Project) into a living art project. This video shows the magic and beauty of Gambia, its people and Art.

Founded by Lawrence Williams & James English (http://www.wideopenwalls.co.za)

Featured Artists:

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Martha Cooper & Lady Aiko Showcase

World renowned graffiti photographer, Martha Cooper, has been staying in Soweto for the past few weeks and will be holding a small showcase this weekend. She will be showcasing new work alongside fellow New Yorker, stencil artist, Lady Aiko, at the Kliptown Gallery. Martha Cooper was primarily in the country to continue working on her Soweto/Sowebo series.

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Mars - From The Ground Up

Before Instagram and inner city gentrification there was Graffiti and with it came the mingling of exhaust and paint fumes, the scraping away of rot and unearthing urine-stained sidewalk weeds for the perfect spot. There was finding the best wall and owning it, but most of all burning the rest. This is graffiti and it all started from the ground up.

One of the themes we have been unpacking and repackaging, for the last year at Two by Two Art Studio, is how graffiti writers find their place in the art world and at what point do studio artists leave the white cube for the streets. MARS debut exhibition From The Ground Up takes graffiti from its very roots and plants it into a space that is both public and private. This is a show by a prolific graffiti writer with a graphic design background. Original artworks, small to large scale, are all reasonably priced allowing for any art enthusiast have a piece of the street for their own collection.

MARS has been painting walls, trains, alleyways, drains and anything else you can lay your eyes on for years. He is one of Joburg’s finest graffiti bombers and has, in recent years, taken his productions to a new level. His crew Demolition Squad has also recently claimed awards at the 2012 South African Hip hop Awards for Best Graffiti Crew and the best crew at the Newtown Back to the City Festival.

10 October 2013 until 24 October 2013

with DJ’s Left & Right and a graffiti tour with Past Experiences at 6PM.

>> MORE INFO

EVENT \\ EXPRESSIONS Book Launch and Exhibition

Expressions Book One South Africa’ is the result of a six year photographic exploration of South African alternative, youth and street culture by Jared Aufrichtig. The hardbound, 720-page book is a visual journey with rich images taken across South Africa. Chapters include ‘Land’, ‘People’, ‘Plants’, ‘Animals’, ‘Music’, ‘Art’, ‘Skateboarding’ and ‘Surfing’.

It is a celebration of the special and unique things that I think make South Africa the wonderful place it is.”

The book also features numerous contributions from artists who have
 augmented Jared’s celluloid photographs with their own graphic 
interpretations. A cross-section of 35 South African designers, illustrators, 
graffiti, graphic and tattoo artists – including Kronk, Mak1one, Fong, Matt 
Edwards, Tyler B. Murphy, Bryan Little and TheoryOne – lend their 
significant creative abilities to the project.



A limited First Edition of 1 000 signed and individually numbered copies will be available with two different
 cover art variations. Distribution is limited to launches and exhibitions, boutique bookstores, or directly from the author.

 The Deluxe Edition of the book (of which only 130 copies will be available)
 comes with a unique lithographic plate in one of the CMYK colours from which
 the book was printed. South African artist Tyler B. Murphy designed the 
cover.

Expressions Book One: South Africa Book-Pre-Print Video_with music by P.H.Fat (© Jared Aufrichtig) from Jared Aufrichtig on Vimeo.


Some of the works that will be exhibited:

>> http://www.expressionsbookone.tumblr.com/

AFRICA \\ Wachata Crew - Tanzania Graffiti

August 2007 marked the date when WCT was formed. WCT stands for Wachata, which is taken from the English word, ‘charter’. It is also a Swahili slang term for ‘graffiti’, derived from the ‘stowaways’ who pioneered the charcoal tagging style back in the day. It’s so popular that every time you do a tag or a piece, people will refer it as ‘chata’. Also, ‘Wa’ in Kiswahili means ‘Us’ in plural terms. I thought it would be good for us, and all those who do graffiti, to call ourselves: WACHATA.”

GRAFFITI is considered by many as the last hip hop element in Tanzania. However, graffiti has been around since the late 1970s during the time of Ujamaa (African Socialism) when most Tanzanians had no access to western culture or Europe, the Internet and computer technology in general. The youth along the coastal towns of Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Mtwara and Zanzibar started to become stowaways in ships that entered and exited the country. Some riskily made it to Europe and the west with dreams of becoming seamen or just escaping the hardships when the Tanzanian economy was in bad shape (right after the Tanzania-Uganda war that sent dictator Idi Amin Dada into exile). These youths started tagging their real names and nicknames on city walls using charcoal which was available in any homestead and was easy to use in ‘leaving a mark’. This new art form was given the name “chata”, a Swahili slang term for graffiti. Spray cans were not available at that time.

Though every nation has its own graffiti backgrounds, Tanzania was similar to that of New York when TAKI 183 was recognized for tagging his name all around his city. The only difference is that here in Tanzania, no one paid attention to this new art trend and it passed unnoticed by art critics, the media and government in general. Even as late as when spray cans started flowing into Tanzania, they were only used for spraying cars or bikes just for the effort of replacing the old similar colour. In July 2003, one of the very first graffiti pieces was painted in Dar es Salaam by a South African expatriate known as Zaki. This historical piece stood along the Old Bagamoyo Road in Mikocheni area and it spelt “CURE”. In 2004/2005, Sela One (Sela-1), a graffiti artist from Germany, did a lot of pieces in Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Arusha. By naming himself ‘Sela’, he was cherishing the name of the first Tanzanian messengers of graffiti. He was also honouring the past stowaways as it is a popular Swahili slang term which was given to any youth with the ambition to stowaway. He opened eyes of many, showing them a real westernised graffiti piece. 2007 brought ‘Words and Pictures’ (WaPi), a monthly open mic event that celebrated all elements of hip hop. Hosted and sponsored by the British Council around May/June, right after the World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, WaPi built a platform for underground creativity through visual arts and speech. It also enhanced confidence and excitement among the youth. In the history of graffiti and hip hop in Tanzania, WaPi was the one and only place that offered free material (spray cans, masks and markers) and white walls to paint. This event helped WCT to form.

WCT stands for Wachata, a Swahili slang term for graffiti derived from the stowaways who pioneered the charcoal tagging style back in the day. Many Tanzanians also face the difficulty of pronouncing the word ‘graffiti’ - many end up saying grafit, graft, or even grafix. Having seen this problem, we decided to come up with the name ‘Wachata’ which is easy to pronounce and has a more crystal clear meaning to graffiti in the country. With graffiti being a new art form to many in Tanzania, it doesn’t fill pockets yet. So, out of 25 to 30 regular WaPi graffiti art participants, only 4 made it to form WCT’s inner circle (core), all with different art backgrounds. WCT is legally registered and operating - Mejah being a marketing personnel, Medy holding the procurement sector, Kala Singa, a distribution officer and Local being the senior designer, doing and setting up designs and sketches when it comes to commissioned work. Since WCT is a collective movement, it has other independent chapters in Mwanza city led by Edo, who is mostly engaged in tattooing, and Yuzzo, and Mizani 86 in Moshi city who makes merchandise. There is one unforgettable individual in Tanzanian graffiti who enhanced the scene - Kool Koor, a legendary graffiti artist from the Bronx, NYC during the 1970s and 1980s, who now resides in Brussels. He was a ‘springboard’ for the movement in 2007 and was invited by the East African Biennale, an art exhibition in East Africa. It took place during the same week of a WaPi event and he decided to do a graffiti workshop too. He introduced us to Montana spray cans and shared different techniques and basics of graffiti which we all had no idea of. From there everything came into place and, since then, Kool Koor has come to Dar es Salaam twice. WCT Crew is also part of Kool Koor’s worldwide graffiti movement known as “YES WE CAN”.

Thus far, WCT is the only crew that’s engaged in graffiti in Tanzania, the main tool used being a spray can. WCT and the graffiti scene in general has been lucky as we never get negative feedback. People don’t refer it to vandalism, or at least it doesn’t look like vandalism but rather a piece of art. This success has been achieved by the way WCT principles its work. We have no trouble with the law and citizens, even the government at the moment. We have done commissioned work with big media companies like the East African TV, Clouds TV, TBC1, British Council and Zantel Epic Marketing campaigns (a mobile telephone company). We have also done a lot of graffiti for most hip hop music videos in Tanzania. The use of vibrant colours is another thing which WCT Crew has been credited for, not because we’re the best, it’s because of improvisation and a creative way we use the limited variety of available colours (that are also very bad in quality - from the U.A.E).

Despite the challenges of not having many choices, WCT has still managed to use what it has to produce good quality work. Apart from doing graffiti, we also design and print T-shirts to meet the huge market and hold graffiti classes on Saturdays at the Makutano Arts & Crafts Centre in Oyster Bay and at Nafasi Artspace in Mikocheni. The future of graffiti in Tanzania is bright and promising. People are tired of the same type of art when it comes to corporate advertising and advertising campaigns, because most of it is done using computers. Those who want a unique artwork see graffiti as a source, and it is a way to attract a young audience. Artists can now get paid for their creative work, although it is not as big in the neighbouring countries like Kenya. WCT has also gained more attention in Tanzania because we get much of the media attention, but at the same time, this shouldn’t overshadow the fact that we’ve laid down a solid foundation from which we can carry something positive to the people, taking it beyond just tagging or bombing our names. We are now working on an African identity with regards to graffiti style.

Check out an interview with WCT here.

>> http://wachatacrew.blogspot.com/

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Outside II

After the huge response generated by the previous Urban Contemporary Exhibition, OUTSIDE (2011) , 34FineArt is proud to announce a follow-up exhibition of spectacular artworks by some of the world’s leading street artists, as well as several talented newcomers. OUTSIDE II will open on 17 September 2013.

Participating artists: Banksy (UK), Ben Eine (UK), Mr. Brainwash (France/USA), London Police (UK), Invader (France), Bambi (UK), Osch (Chile/UK), AME72 (Israel), Grafter (UK), Shepard Fairey (USA), Christiaan Nagel (SA/UK), Bortusk Leer (Netherlands/UK), James Cochran aka jimmy.C. (Australia/UK), Trust.I.CON (UK), Dotmasters (UK), T.WAT (UK), Robin Coleman(UK), Eyesaw (UK), Pedrô (France), Norman Catherine (SA), Asha Zero (SA), Jade Doreen Waller (SA) and Warren Petersen (SA).


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

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

The exhibition ends 9 November 2013.

>> MORE INFO

EVENT \\ Exhibition: “K2CT” by ArielTWO3

Kota 2 Cape Town’ is a series of work by graphic artist ArielTWO3, exploring the urban energy and culture of South African cities – from Joburg to Cape Town. With a vision to “create something out of nothing” he uses mixed media and techniques to comprise a body of work. All materials are found objects scoured in the city made with a range of mediums – aerosol cans, acrylic, ink, pencil, koki – anything to make a mark on a surface. With an experiential story to tell, ArielTWO3 debuts at Made in Maboneng.

>> MORE INFO

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Dreams Close To Home

:: DREAMS CLOSE TO HOME ::

A PAINTING TOUR EXHIBITED BY SKUBALISTO, MR FUZZY SLIPPERZ AND KARABO MOOKI.

Dreams Close To Home’ is the title for a painting road trip and exhibition initiated by three friends and artists, co-sponsored by RVCA Artist Network Program. The conceptualisation and execution of the road trip was done by Mr Fuzzy Slipperz, Skubalisto and Karabo Mooki. All three of these individuals are full time artists in their own right - Fuzzy by title is a painter, illustrator and muralist, and Skuba falls under the same or similar category. Karabo Mooki is a photographer and documented the tour.

The trio decided to hit the road to explore and rediscover South Africa’s landscape through public art and service. They had all recently been travelling overseas interdependently and wanted to better understand home through their art and travels, thus ‘Dreams Close To Home’ was the perfect title for the tour. An artistic way to explore and investigate South Africa’s beautiful, and at times, unappreciated landscape and society. Skuba and Fuzzy are both Xhosa and have their heritage deeply rooted in the Western and Eastern Cape, so they decided to start the trip in Cape Town coming from Johannesburg, then heading off into Jefrey’s Bay, Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown, Transkei and lastly Johannesburg, which was a great way to stay true to the concept of the tours theme. The tour took roughly 15 days and was documented by the talented yet humble Karabo Mooki who grew up in Johannesburg.

Mr Fuzzy Slipperz became a brand ambassador for RVCA through their Artist Network Program and decided to collaborate with the great lifestyle brand which was excited to sponsor parts of the trip and exhibition. The artists believe that all things in life should come full circle so it was important to put together an exhibition showcasing all the work and documentation of the tour.

The show will take place on the 6th of September 2013 at the the Velo art cafe in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. The attendees will be able to buy original photos, works, limited addition RVCA T-shirts and books all made by the artists.

You dont have to go too far from home to find life’s every day magical moments. South Africa is an amazing country, lets get to understand it and our selves by celebrating our surroundings through creativity that can be shared by all. The hills, seas, forests, small towns and big cities await your arrival.”

>> MORE INFO

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Burning Museum

The Burning Museum (BM) is a collaborative arts collective rooted in Cape Town, South Africa. The space which we find ourselves in is one which has been scarred and seared by a historical trajectory of violent exclusions and silences. These histories form the foundation of an elusive and at times omnipotent democracy that occasionally reveals its muscle in the form of laws and by-laws in public space. It is from this historical climate and present context that the work of the Burning Museum engages with themes such as history, identity, space, and structures. We are interested in the seen and unseen, the stories that linger as ghosts on gentrified street corners; in opening up and reimagining space as potential avenues into the layers of history that are buried within, under, and between.

29 August 2013, 6pm
The Centre for African Studies Gallery, Harry Oppenheimer Institute Building, University of Cape Town.

>> RSVP on Facebook

All images have been sourced from the Van Kalker and Greshoff collections courtesy of the District Six Museum.

>> http://www.burningmuseum.wordpress.com/

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Black & Yellow

Black and Yellow is a project about transforming spaces on walls into vessels for artwork. We are building up towards 2014 by using black and yellow, the designated colours for Cape Town World Design Capital.

Participating Artists: Tasneem Kamikaze, Bianca de Klerk, Claude Chandler, Adele van Heerden, Juanette Smuts, Kirstie-Rae Samson, Cuan Hahndiek, Warren Maroon, Kelly van der Watt, September McNabb, Reuven Kustanovich, C.C. Denovan, Sindile Mfudisi.

>> MORE INFO

Recent work by Dios in Cape Town

Photos by Roxanne Davids and Chris.

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Rasty VS Veronika

A collaborative painting installation featuring two of Johannesburg’s most respected street artists. Painting in a wide variety of styles and mediums, these two prolific painters pay homage to the origins of “street art”. Blurring the boundaries between public and private spaces, as well as street art and contemporary fine art. This is one not to be missed.

Kalashnikovv Gallery
70 Juta Str, Braamfontein, Jhb
6pm for 6:30pm
Thursday 9th of May 2013

>> MORE INFO

FRIDAY FEATURE #9: Tattoos and Graffiti

Tattooing is a highly respected art form and is often linked to graffiti. We speak to two artists who both paint graffiti and tattoo…

Ross Hallam

Ross runs a tattoo studio in Johannesburg and has worked in England and Hong Kong. He loves full colour neo-traditional tattoos, as well as Japanese tattoos with a western twist.

Tell us a bit about who you are…

I am co-owner and tattooer at Handstyle Tattoos Johannesburg. I also paint graffiti under the names ‘Hate’ and ‘Wise’. When I still have spare time I play in a Hardcore Punk band called Conqueror.

How long have you been tattooing?

I’ve been tattooing for five years now and I’ve been painting properly since around 1999/2000, although I did some of my first tags under some terrible toy aliases as early as 1997.

How did you get into tattooing? Was it through graffiti or did graffiti come afterwards?

I think art and my fascination with sub-cultures led me to persue both graffiti and tattooing as another art form to express myself. The first tattoo flash I drew up back in 2000 was completely graffiti orientated, it wasn’t great but it was a lot better than most cherry creek flash doing the rounds at the time. Graffiti came first and has played a major role in the development of my tattooing in regards to colour, line variation and typography. But, at the same time, they are completely different mediums and tattooing commands a lot more respect.

What do you love most about tattooing?

The fact that you are constantly learning and progressing, meeting other rad artists and hanging out with my best friends. Getting the chance to travel and do guest work locally and abroad. Being able to translate peoples ideas in to a permanent work of art. I love the work ethic and being part of an amazing community.

What do you love most about graffiti?

I loved painting panels the most, I gave it up a long time back. But seeing panels run is the best feeling ever. These days I enjoy painting pieces and taking it easy and relaxed on a wall. I’m over all the juvenile politics and crew beef. Do what you love and love what you do, it ain’t worth getting shot over.

Shout out to Tower, Skiet, Drone, Hack, 2Kil and my crew in the UK; Spar Monster Colours NRFL.


Ninjabreadboy

Ninjabreadboy is a multi-disciplined artist who lives and works in Cape Town. He is intrigued by local gang culture and has been doing a lot of stick ‘n poke tattoos recently.

Describe how you got into the art… Design/tattooing/street art

When I was about eleven I got my first Blunt magazine which had an article on graffiti in it. There was a flick of Wealz130 standing on a bridge in Observatory with his hands in the air and his signature chrome bubble letter outline on the bridge in front of him. I cut that pic out and stuck it on the wall next to my bed, I always loved art and drawing but that was the first time I discovered the art form that appealed to me most. I used to skate a lot as a kid and started collecting a lot of skate mags. Any graphic element associated with skateboarding appealed to me – all the graffiti, tattoos and skate graphics I saw in mags were a big inspiration.

What inspires you?

As I’ve got older I’ve drawn my inspiration from so many different fields and mediums, I went through a phase where I was pretty obsessed with latino gang culture because of their use of tattooing and graffiti to express themselves. For me it was so much more “real” than what graffiti writers and tattoo artists were doing because it was so raw and had so much meaning and symbolism about it. This got me interested in local gang culture and the forms of graffiti and tattooing that they were doing. I also realised there is so much crazy shit going on around us on a national level that we just look straight past or ignore it when it allows for so much fucking amazing content. I’m very influenced by things happening internationally but like to try create work that has a ‘local’ context to make it more personal.

What are you enjoying the most right now?

I’m all about trying to apply my style to as many mediums as possible. When I started sketching hand-poke flash I drew in a pointillism style which adapted well to a hand-poke, this style started influencing the rest of the work I was doing. At the moment I’m really enjoying working with brush and ink, but always fucking around with different mediums trying out new shit.

Secret Team Zine

Secret Team is a graffiti zine strictly for writers. The first issue features writers from around the country as well as the UK and New Zealand.”

We started it because there is nothing for writers locally, if you want to see street art or characters you can find tons of that anywhere but actual graffiti letters and handstyles - the crux of what writing is - is not catered for by anyone, so we stepped in.”

There are many writers in SA with good style and lettering but get no chance to shine, whereas character ‘writers’ get a lot of limelight so we wanted to showcase some local skills and make a zine just for those who piece, tag, throwup, etc.”

Secret Team is available at Shelflife Store (119 Loop Street, Cape Town) for R25

You can keep the zine going by sending submissions to zecretteam@gmail.com

Support your local writer!

>> Follow the Facebook Page

FRIDAY FEATURE #8: Graffiti Photography by Urika Boss

Who are you and what do you do…

Hi! I am Urika Boss. Amongst other things I take photos and occasionally right my name on walls and objects.

Tell us how you became interested in photography?

My interest started when I got one of those silly lomography cameras for my 18th. I got over the perks of it pretty quickly and wanted something more. I then started to experiment with different manual film and cheap point & shoot cameras, which eventually led to my obsession.  

When did you first start taking pictures of graffiti artists?

I guess I’ve been taking photos of graffiti for as long as I’ve been painting. It wasn’t until I really started to get into photography that I started to pay more attention to the process and people painting than the actual finished product.

What/Who inspires you?

I’m mainly inspired by photo journalists and street photographers who capture emotion and make you wonder who, what and why is the subject in the situation that they are in. If you can’t answer those questions then the photo creates curiosity and the viewer can create their own story behind it.

Besides graffiti, what else do you like to photograph?

Other than graffiti, I simply just take photos of life. To sum it up I enjoy documenting moments. In general it’s normally peculiar people, places, and things that catch my attention. Graffiti just happens to combine all those things!

What do you think of the current graffiti scene?

The current scene (in Cape Town) is going through a bit of a dry patch with the council putting up such a fight and buffing every single little thing - both legal and illegal! There also doesn’t seem to be as many new young writers putting up and sticking with it. Though I can’t talk much, I’ve been slacking.

On the other hand, the train scene is pumping. I can’t keep up with the amount of crazy panels being put up by you know who. Real world-class stuff! There still are a good bunch of guys who are painting consistently. Hopefully the drop of the ‘Painting Cape Town’ book will inspire people to start putting up again. It sure has motivated me!

Are you working on any photographic projects at the moment?

Sadly I haven’t been shooting that much this past year or so, I’ve been so busy with varsity that I haven’t had much spare time or energy to put into my photography. In the end it’s just a passion but I would love to have a photographic show or something one day.

>> http://www.urikaboss.com/

AFRICA \\ Run: Graffiti in Senegal & The Gambia

Run, an Italian artist based in London, recently traveled through West Africa painting in The Gambia via Wide Open Walls and in Dakar, Senegal via the Yattal Art Association.

We asked him about his experience…

The experience was amazing, I met loads of incredible people and they helped me with finding walls and speaking the local dialect.”

I’m looking forward to go back and explore more, there are so many other parts of Africa that I would like to visit.”

…there is not much of what we call ‘street art’…”

It’s a reward for me and for my work to be there, it has been one of the biggest and deepest experiences of my life.”

>> His website & blog.

VIDEO \\ D-One’s Ikonoklast Panzerism

D-ONE’S IKONOKLAST PANZERISM from drzulu on Vimeo.

In 2010, the infamous RAMMLL:ZΣΣ took one final apprentice within his movement of “GOTHIC FUTURISM.” After months of mechanical & design apprenticeship, he was awarded title of “D-ONE”, authorized to race tank style letters & given the duty of “IKONOKLAST PANZERIST”. This legacy continues through D-One aka “DR.ZVLV& the other soldiers in the “TAG MASTER KILLERS” army of assassins… ”

“Evolutionary, symbolic & functional with building blocks armed to destroy. These letter forms are not a toy.”

>> http://www.drzulu.com/

EVENT \\ Art Night at The Street

A live painting performance by Jo’burg artists Veronika, Rekso and Kevin Love.
The final artwork will be auctioned online.

Thursday 18 April 2013
@ The Street
135 Greenway Road, Greenside, Johannesburg

Bar and drinks available on the night.

>> MORE INFO

FRIDAY FEATURE #7: City of Gold Festival

The third annual City of Gold Urban Art Festival kicked off last Sunday with a bang! The launch was held at Grayscale Gallery featuring works by local artists and some of the international participants.

Pose (MSK Crew, USA) painted live at the launch alongside Kevin Love and Cureo. Unfortunately style master Revok (MSK) could not make it here to South Africa.

Pose, Love and Cureo:

Herakut (Germany) wall by Akut - Hera was sick and could not make it to the festival…

Solo One (UK) returned to Jo’burg for his second City of Gold.

Local artists Zesta, Mars, Bias and Rekzo:

Kid Kreol & Boogie (Reunion Island)

The film screenings take place tonight at The Bioscope, and the closing event is going down tomorrow at Alliance Français in Parkview.
RSVP here.

Mural locations:

  • Pose, Love, Cureo - Grayscale parking lot, Cnr. De Korte & Henry St. Braamfontein

  • Pose, Kid Kreol & Boogie - Cnr. De Korte & Eendracht St. Braamfontein

  • Solo One - Market Theater, Miriam Makeba St. Newtown

  • Herakut - Cnr. Commissioner & Miriam Makeba St. (Old Chinatown) Newtown

  • Zesta, Mars, Bias, Rekzo and Solo One - Cnr. Marshall & Philips St. Jeppestown

  • Kid Kreol & Boogie - Cnr. Op De Bergen & Corrie St. Troyeville

  • Love, Myza, Ekse - Cnr. Main & Browning St. Troyeville

  • Kid Kreol & Boogie, Love, Cureo, Ekse - Cnr. Matipa & Coka St. Soweto

>> http://www.cityofgold festival.co.za/

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Transformative

Paul Senyol (Cape Town) & Wesley van Eeden (Durban)

Opening reception: April 11th, 7pm
Show runs: April 11th - May 25th, 2013

For the upcoming show titled ‘Transformative’, Paul Senyol and Wesley van Eeden explored the notions of reality and society in a constant stage of change. Van Eeden was taken by the idea of how something we do today will have a certain influence on the way we live tomorrow, next week, a month from now and for many years to come. Trying to grapple for a grasp on the present moment, we find ourselves in eternal stages of change. Senyol took a deeper look at the very fabric of his everyday life and those who orbit his existence as a starting point for working towards a final outcome. Senyol explored his surroundings within Woodstock allowing all aspects of its transformation from day to day to influence him.

There will be a limited edition ART PACK available - 20 units signed and numbered; includes an A2 print on archival paper, 16 page zine and a limited edition T-shirt. R600, contact the gallery if interested in purchasing one. Supported by RVCA.

>> MORE INFO

FRIDAY FEATURE #6: Graffiti in Botswana

Graffiti and street art is still very young in South Africa when compared to places like New York, London and Berlin, even more so for the rest of Africa. Very little graffiti exists in other African states, but this is slowly changing as more international artists have been painting and traveling throughout the continent.

Jace, a graffiti artist from Réunion Island, was recently in South Africa and also painted in one of our neighbouring countries, Botswana…

Jace painted local tuckshops in Old Naledi as part of the Arts For Change initiative.

Photos by Sebastian Modak

Local artists also painted…

This week Arts For Change has been hosting creative art workshops for local youth. The next project will feature Kid Kréol & Boogie (Réunion Island) after they’ve painted at the City Of Gold Urban Art Festival in Johannesburg.


WHOOP WHOOP! Sound o’ da police…”

RUSHER and REPS are two Botswana writers currently on the down-low. These guys gained a huge Internet following with almost one million views for all their videos on YouTube! We asked RUSHER a few short questions…

How did you get into graffiti art?

I started writing in 2006 when we were driving home from a holiday trip in Durban. I always used to draw in the car – I drew things I noticed outside and eventually the graffiti that covered South African walls and bridges inspired me to start sketching. I started noticing the graffiti under the bridges, so every bridge we drove under I would jump from the right window to the left window to scan the walls for graffiti. I eventually did my first pieces ‘MF’ and ‘UFO’ and still have those exact pictures in my black book today! When I met Reps, in 2008 or 2009, I got him into writing and that’s when it started… It’s been a while now.

Describe painting and the scene in Botswana…

Botswana is still behind in the graffiti culture/lifestyle. In a way this is to our advantage, we are the ones inspiring others to start writing. I like competition and seeing new throws and pieces around the city, but that is often hard to find here. It’s always good putting new stuff on the streets so you can better others and yourself. We are not exposed to graffiti as much as other cities, many writers are born from the streets by noticing what they see on the walls and unfortunately there is not much here. Hopefully over time the people will become more accepting of the graffiti culture and it will slowly grow, we are the ones planting the seeds and getting it started.

I know a lot of youngsters notice our work and try copy it, but we don’t mind as long as they start writing. It’s nice to think we have inspired someone out there… The painting here is amazing, especially in winter, it’s our city! We love our country, our home…

I hope this isn’t the cops aahaha, if it is then fuck, it’s over, peace. Keep safe writers.

>> Check out more in our GRAFFITI AFRICA GALLERY

FRIDAY FEATURE #5: Graffiti Girls

Graffiti is a typically male dominated art form but there are many females painting the streets today. We decided to add a little girl power and focus on three of these women…

Last weekend we caught up with Daisy at Mams Art Festival in Mamelodi, a township just outside of Pretoria.

How long have you been doing graffiti and street art?

I started painting approximately four years ago, where members from both DS and OWN crew were kind enough to let me tag along and teach me about the perplexity that is graffiti.

What inspires you to create art?

My art background spans for over tens years and within those years inspiration has come from a wide field of reference; people, life, artists, art, to name a few…

Photos: Irene Quirk

Tell us about your experience at Mams Art Fest?

Mams Art Festival is such an amazing collaboration between The Viva Foundation of South Africa, Mamelodi residents and artists from all walks of life. This foundation aims in creating a living art museum in an informal settlement located in Pretoria and is one of the very first.

Participating in this project is completely rewarding, especially assisting in fulfilling the goals of an organisation like The Viva Foundation (who do exceptional work in several amazing programmes in the Mamelodi community). I have a lot of adoration for this foundation.

What do you think of the role of urban art in today’s society?

As an individual who works in the built in environment, structures are erected to fill a function, as well as attempting to create a dialogue with the current context and be aesthetically pleasing. Urban art does the same thing. It’s role is equally as legitimate as art made in the studio, and other art forms. Possibly even more so where works of art are littered throughout the built environment, which in turn becomes far more accessible to the public. Whatever the statement or lack thereof, urban art engages with individuals on a platform that most others cannot. An art form the elite no longer have possession over.


Nard Star is a Cape Town based graffiti and street artist who is currently in America to paint and exhibit at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in Hartford, Connecticut, just outside of New York.

How did you get into graffiti and how long have you been doing it?

I got into graffiti when I was a teenager. I was always up to no good back then and used to spend a lot of time hanging out with my friends on the streets. We were all into Hip Hop but none of us did graffiti. I was already into art so it was a natural progression. You can say I’ve been painting solidly for about 4 years now….

Describe your graffiti style…

My style is just me having fun with shapes and colour. It’s like a intense game of Jenga.

What is your favourite piece you’ve painted?

I don’t really have a favourite. It’s usually the last wall I painted and then I paint another one which becomes the new fave.

What reactions have you received about your work on the street?

I usually get good responses to my art on the street. People enjoy the bright colour and figuring out the animals, but sometime people can just be really confused about why I am doing art on a wall in the first place.

Do you think it’s any different for a girl to do graffiti since it’s very male dominated?

No, I don’t think it’s any different for girls and guys…

What inspires you?

Walls, animals, progression, travel, other artists, the streets, shapes and colour.

Favourite artists?

I don’t have favourites, but I have respect and admiration to all artists that live their art and keep getting better and better.

What do you think is the role of art in todays society?

I think each artist has their own reasons for their art. Some make art without even considering a viewer so I cant really answer that question properly.

Last year, we linked Nard to a Toronto-based independent film-maker, Idalina Leandro Pifaro, who is currently in the process of shooting a documentary film about woman who write graffiti.

All She Wrote” is a documentary that tells the story of female graffiti writers presented through the artist’s own voice. With emphasis on the women behind the art, the film uncovers a common passion but unique motivations and experiences. Spanning Europe and the America’s, “All She Wrote” is ultimately a story of powerful, dedicated, and ambitious women, presented through their own eyes and ears.

All She Wrote Teaser 2 from a film company on Vimeo.

With the project nearly complete, we asked Idalina about the film and her interest in graffiti art…

What made you want to make a film about girls who do graffiti?

On a personal note, graffiti has always been my favourite kind of art, al
though I can’t place exactly why. Perhaps I was a graffiti writer in 
another life, because I’ve never had the courage or the talent to do 
it in this one. But, I fulfilled my love for graffiti through
 photography, taking photos of spectacular pieces and of spray-painted 
walls all over the world. And it was when I lived in Portugal in 2002 
that I first decided to find out about the women that were creating 
this visceral, urban art. I was so impressed by their passion for
 graffiti and the pieces they created, I wanted to make a documentary 
film that was dedicated to them. A documentary I could relate to as a
 woman, one that looked past the typical male-dominant graffiti scene.

What message do you want to say with your film, if any?

The message I would like to send in my film is if you believe in yourself you can achieve anything you want. All these women have empowered themselves through their art and have achieved great things by standing up for what they believe in.

How much work still needs to be done to complete the film? When do you hope to release it?

About 40% of the film still needs to be done, but I hope to be finished shooting by the end of the year. We will be submitting the film to film festivals for the 2014 season.

Are you working on other projects? And do you think you’ll make another documentary film after ASW?

At the moment “All She Wrote” is the only project that I am working on. Making a documentary takes a lot of your time, and I am also a full time mom, so other projects don’t have room. But yes, I will make other documentaries and films, I have lots of ideas and scripts we can work on.

A crowd funding campaign was recently opened to raise more funds for the film. Make a donation HERE.

AFRICA \\ Arts For Change - Graffiti in Botswana

Arts For Change is “an initiative to empower youth to use their artistic talents as a means to develop their livelihoods.”

Last year, they hosted a graffiti event with South Africa’s Mak1one & Kasi along with some local graff artists:

Pics: ImageLounge

This week they will be hosting Jace, a graffiti artist from Reunion Island, known for his character ‘Gouzou’.

More info on their Facebook page

AFRICA \\ OptOne in Lesotho

OptOne spent some time in Maseru, capital of Lesotho. This was part of his ‘spray-cation’ around South Africa last year.

NEWS\\ City Of Gold: Artist Update

City Of Gold Urban Arts Festival 2013 is almost upon us and we can’t curb the excitement!

More featured artists have been announced recently:

  • Revok & Pose of MSK crew (USA),
  • Solo One (UK), coming back for a second time.

Herakut (Germany) and Kid Kréol & Boogie (Réunion Island) are also participating in the festival.

>> http://www.cityofgoldfestival.co.za/

FRIDAY FEATURE #4: Mars - A South African Graffiti King

One of the most notorious writers in South African graffiti is MARS.

A king in all aspects, from train bombing and rollups to colourful pieces that are out of this world good!

We caught up with him for an exclusive interview…

How did you get into graffiti… Was there anything that sparked this obsession?

I was 13-14 years old and first saw graffiti in a Source magazine. Later that year, a friend and I were watching a movie called “187” and these kids from L.A were drinking, smoking weed, skateboarding and doing graffiti. Graffiti was the subsequent misdemeanour – we were already doing all the other stuff. We drew some shit graffiti attempts and the next day made a mess in an abandoned church next door. Looking back, it had nothing to do with art, we were just fucked up.

How did you come across your name?

Maybe a year later, after dabbling with random names, words, characters, mostly on paper, still not knowing what graffiti is or meant to be, we were at the same church and I had an alien character I did. I wanted to put a word next to it, so being a dumbass I did the most obvious thing and free-styled a horrific MARS. I ran out of paint halfway through, this happened often in the toy days… At the time I was unaware that there are a million other Mars’ in every city around the world. I would have chosen something more original had I known.

What was the scene like when you first started writing?

There was no scene really, the only graffiti I saw was DS and DBS tags around my area, being young I also couldn’t get around much so that’s all I knew. There were no graffiti shops, no imported name brand spraypaint, no books, no blogs, no Facebook, no super-star graffiti artists, NOTHING… I discovered Artcrimes.com, and in the following years looked at every single page on that site, maybe even twice, no jokes.

Around 2005, I went to Cape Town for the first time and brought back two rare gems; the “Graffiti World” book and 2 Montana cans from the graffiti store in Canal Walk, I think. Less than 8 years later and I have over 30 books and 6 different international brands of spray-paint on my shelf. It’s been a crazy transition from fuck all to information overload.

Your style keeps evolving and you go through ‘style phases’. Give us a little insight… This new style of yours is very funky and ‘loose’ – and not symmetrical at all. Tell us more about your decision to move towards it…

For a long time I did symmetry pieces, and in recent years have been trying to make them more interesting than typical boring graffiti, you know, have the “WOW” effect. I came to a point where I realised that the symmetry had reached its highest point for me and it wasn’t going to get any more interesting or “WOW”. I still use a lot of the same shapes and elements, along with new ones. I always try doing something new, I like being meticulous and at the same time spontaneous; making a medley out of two extremes, often one prevails. At times you can see a piece is a lot more spontaneous and experimental. Bombing is obviously a little different, repetition is key. I try being versatile; characters, pieces, backgrounds, anything with a can that I want to do.

You like to add extra flare to your pieces by adding characters. Have you ever felt a need to explore characters more?

Definitely, like I said, I want to do it all – be well rounded artistically, that includes characters. Hell, I might even do some more street art orientated stuff in the future, who knows, I just ride the wave.

Tell us about your crew, Demolition Squad…

Your crew has been putting up high class productions lately. Do you plan a wall or do you just freestyle? And is it hard to translate your ideas from paper onto the wall?

Tapz, Tyke, Aybe (London), Fiya and Mars. Whereas a lot of crews are a bunch of weak writers coming together to make an average crew, DS is five individually strong writers who form a well rounded, prolific crew. We all have strengths and are all versatile; we bomb, do pieces, trains, jobs and live graffiti. DS has been around for over 10 years and has outlasted many crews throughout the years. Writers come and go within the crew, but those that are meant to be here are. I think we are the strongest now than we ever have been.

Walls get planned differently. Sometimes we meet for serious concepts, and other times we just do whatever on the day.

Favourite surface to paint on?

Lately; weird textured walls, over windows and protruding surfaces. I like how it looks - not so perfect like on a flat wall. Trains are also nice, if you don’t know why, then I suggest you go do one.

You’ve smashed a lot of trains in recent years… I’m sure you might have some crazy stories?

Being shot at definitely changes ones perception of life and how fragile it is. Myself, Angel, Trips and a German tourist writer, Azme, got to experience this one night not so long ago. Trips and I ran one way and were about 2 meters apart, we heard the bullet fly through in between us. I always cherished my time on this earth as I experienced death at an early age, but this definitely gave me insight to my own mortality and how much I love being here.

Besides graffiti, what else are you interested in?

Most forms of art, music, reading, hanging with friends and loved ones, Nikes, driving, hustling, watches, eating at larney (fancy) restaurants poorly dressed, tattoos, pulling wire, x-hamster, pulling wire on x-hamster, pushing buttons, cigars, disappointing people, gear, pissing off girls, trying to stay sober, slores, buying crap I’ll never use, avoiding authorities, experiencing new things, travelling, hating, loving, loving to hate, hating to be in love… I believe life is about experience, so I try everything at least once.

Which artists do you admire the most right now?

Too many to mention, all for very different reasons, some of which have nothing to do with graffiti.

How does it feel knowing that you are inspiring the next generation of graffiti artists in SA?

I never really thought I was inspiring anyone, I guess pretty well, if you say so. I think I still have a lot to do, I’m just glad when someone looks at my pictures, even better if they can relate, it validates my existence. I only hope someone picks this shit up by the time I leave.

Where is the best place you’ve painted and where in the world you like to paint next?

I really like the freedom Johannesburg has, in first world cities it’s a lot more difficult to get walls, do street bombing and trains, as the public are very aware of graffiti. Jo’burg graffiti is still in somewhat of a grey area, in all aspects… I liked Sofia, Bulgaria, it’s similar there. Brazil is a must…

Will you ever stop doing graffiti?

Who knows?

What do you think graffiti of the future will look like?

Probably like graffiti of the past, it all goes in circles. Crappy retro graffiti is popular at the moment, just as vintage clothing is. I wouldn’t be surprised if people start doing cave man scratching and it becomes popular. Then again, so is the new “design” style graffiti, which is definitely a lot more “futuristic” looking, with a dash of retro. I don’t know, graffiti is so diverse at this point it could go anyway.

Special thanks to MARS for this interview. ©GraffitiSouthAfrica.com

PICS \\ A.Dub in Cape Town

The South African born and New York (USA) based artist A.Dub recently (17 March 2013) finished his first two painted murals ever. He selected Cape Town as the location of these works.

A.DUB from Klaus Warschkow on Vimeo.

The first one is in Pepper St in the Bo-Kaap and the second one in the court yard of Side Street Studios (48 Albert Road, Woodstock). Before this he made a small number of wheat pastes in New York.

Photographs by Klaus Warschkow

EVENT \\ Graffiti Jam: Raps Art Beach Jam

Some of Durbans finest graffiti artists will be painting live collaborations at the New Pier beach front this Friday (22 March).

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Trees On Trial

Trees on Trial is an exhibition that explores the nature of the wildlife featured on our South African Rands since 1994. Many of the Big Five that served as unobtrusive mascots, free of judgment, during a time of great change in our country are under threat of extinction. They marked a significant and refreshing change from the outdated portrait of Jan Van Riebeeck, which is also reported to be a misplaced portrait of Bartholomeus Vermuyden. The recent introduction of the new currency featuring Nelson Mandela, has come at a time of a quickly diminishing rhino population and rising inflation amidst a struggling economy.

The spray paint on canvas artworks originated from a deeper look at the reasoning and political agendas behind what we often take for granted and oversee on South African currency past and present.

>> MORE INFO

FRIDAY FEATURE #3: Street Art in South Africa

Photographs by Klaus Warschkow, except where stated.
Words: GraffitiSouthAfrica.com ©

What is Street Art?

Street art is more than just graffiti. It’s a broad term commonly used to describe art found in public space – from stickers and stencils, to paste-ups and installations and more traditional graffiti. It’s a means of expression evoking a rich spectrum of thoughts, captivating the viewer. With a variety of themes and ideas, from social and political awareness to plain visual poetry, this art form continues to gain momentum.

Some regard it as vandalism and not public art, but most artists try to create something meaningful – beautifying a run-down building, reclaiming a forgotten space. Street art is more than a tag, or moniker to gain fame. It provokes us to think and feel with more depth in an otherwise sterile environment. Street artists dare to bring greater vibrancy, colour and fluidity into drab and monotonous urban superstructures. It is non-elitist and invites the public to reclaim their right to shared spaces. It provokes freedom of expression, greater individualism and diversity.

Freddy Sam, Cape Town bus terminal

Faith47, Cape Town

The international street art scene is thriving with a growth of amazingly talented and diverse artists and great exhibitions and festivals. Cape Towns Faith47 has been travelling abroad to paint and exhibit her work which is both entertaining and educating. She was recently in Hawaii for the Pow Wow Festival.

The Long Wait’ by Faith47 in Johannesburg - A wheatpaste series commenting on the high rate of unemployment. Photo by Derek Smith

Graffiti VS Street Art

A whole debate surrounds street art – is it graffiti? Many see graffiti as being more letter-based and street art as a variety of elements. Others downright think that street art is not cool. The beauty of the debate is that they have a symbiotic relationship, each evolving separately, but provoking one another to reach new frontiers.

Despite the friction between the two, we respect anyone who puts anything up in the streets. This keeps it interesting, diverse and colourful.

Galleries and art collectors are diving into this market. Banksy, Blu and Mr Brainwash have had works displayed in South Africa. Augustine Kofie, American ‘graffuturist’ artist, painted live at an exhibition at Lovell Gallery in Cape Town last year.

Augustine Kofie piece in Cape Town. He came from a graffiti background and is part of the new ‘graffuturist’ movement.

Street Art in South Africa

While modern graffiti is still very new in South Africa it has, nevertheless, spread rapidly in recent years. When seen on a global scale, the South African scene is very youthful, but is quickly gaining maturity.

For years graffiti artists have dominated the streets. Those that spray their stencil often fade away soon after starting. Things are changing. Urban art is becoming more popular as internationally acclaimed artists visit our shores.

Remed (France), Cape Town

Dal East (China), Cape Town

Unknown Artist, Cape Town

Freddy Sam & Christiaan Conradie, Cape Town

The /A Word Of Art Residency Programme has brought many street artists to Cape Town and Johannesburg. Highlights include the 5-man collective called BoaMistura from Spain and the Acrylic Walls project with Gaia (USA), Franco ‘Jaz’ Fasoli (Argentina) and Know Hope (Israel).

Gaia (USA), Cape Town

Jaz (Argentina), Cape Town

Acrylic Walls Johannesburg mural. Photo by Derek Smith

Other artists who have participated in the residency are Above (USA), Tika (Switzerland), Indigo (Canada), Yumanizumu (Japan), Scott Sueme (Canada), Remed (Spain), LX One (France), Mike Makatron (Australia), Hannah Parr (UK), Mymo (Germany), Pascal Paquette (Canada), David Shillinglaw (UK), Elicser Elliott (Canada) and Andrzej Urbanski (Germany).

Yumanizumu (Japan), Cape Town

Wesley Van Eeden, Cape Town

Masai (UK) works on a new mural in Cape Town. His recent works create awareness of the declining animal population.

Masai and Breeze from Klaus Warschkow on Vimeo.

Kasi (Breeze), Cape Town

South, Cape Town

Andrzej Urbanski, a Polish-born artist, has relocated from Berlin to Cape Town. “I fell in love with this city…. The street art scene here is small but very good. There’s a lot of creative people and a rising 



art community.”

He sees himself as a ‘contemporary street artist’ working in studio and in the streets. “Being out in the streets and sharing with the community is very special. The people of Cape Town are very interested and helpful. I really made a lot of good friends in the community while I painted.”

Urbanski & Elicser, Cape Town. Photo by Urbanski

Urbanski, Cape Town. Photo by Urbanski

Interesni Kazki’s AEC is currently here as part of the residence programme and has already painted one wall (with only brushes). Along with Waone, this Ukrainian duo live up to the meaning of their name painting “interesting fairy tales”.

AEC (Interesni Kazki) completed piece and progress shots in Cape Town

I Art SA is another project that has been developed by /A Word Of Art and features a range of artists and styles. This project took place in Woodstock (Cape Town), Soweto (Johannesburg) and Johannesburg City.

With his endemic animal paintings, internationally acclaimed artist ROA was one of the featured artists at I Art Joburg last year. The exhibition opened last night in Cape Town. Photo by Derek Smith


Open City

Last weekend, a group of creative individuals met up in downtown Johannesburg for an event they called ‘Open City’. The aim: “To make the city pretty”…

“I do this a lot. Whenever I’ve got chalk, I bomb. I make it normal. I’m not special… The streets are yours. Be the art you want to see in the world!” - Andrew, event organiser


Freddy Sam working on a mural in Johannesburg for WWF. Photo by Derek Smith

Mooki’s street art in Durban

Hundreds of painted stencils adorn the walls of Grahamstown, a quaint student town in the Eastern Cape. Many are attributed to a Mr Stevenson.

Hannelie Coetzee, chipped wood piece in Johannesburg

Kevin Love, wood blocks in Johannesburg

This ‘dog’ pasteup is found all over Johannesburg


Grant Jurius

We recently discovered the work of Cape Towns Grant Jurius and asked him why he does street art…

I love street life! The most inspiring artists are street artists – at least for me. The street is raw and real. It feeds me and I feed back.

What do you want to evoke?

I want people to think about a piece and create a sense of feeling of some sort… I use figures because I like the human figure and I think people relate to it.

How long have you actively been working in the streets?

I only recently had the confidence to start putting up bolder pieces. In 2011, I started drawing on paper and then progressed to more defined paintings. Then I started doing the opposite by placing work in the street.

Artwork and photos by Grant Jurius


Another proclaimed street art duo is Herakut from Germany. They will participate in the City of Gold Urban Arts Festival in Johannesburg next month along with Kid Kréol & Boogie (Reunion Island), Pose MSK (USA) and local artists.

>> Check out our Street Art gallery

Additional pics:

Click ‘next’ to view more images…

(Various artists in Cape Town)

NEWS\\ Jace in South Africa & Botswana

Alliance Française invites you to meet Jace, graffiti artist from Reunion Island:

Talk & demo

Friday 15 March, 2pm

at Alliance Française de Durban
22 Sutton Crescent
Morningside
Durban
Tel: 031 312 9582 / Fax: 031 312 2864

Free coffee & biscuits
RSVP before Thurs 14 at
culture.afdurban@alliance.org.za

Jace is a graffiti artist originally from Le Havre in northern France who has lived on Reunion Island since he was 9 years old. He created Gouzou, a humorous, faceless character who remains fearless under any climate, in any circumstance and any country. It is Jace’s passion for drawing and his dream of an underground lifestyle that prompted him to specialize in graffiti art. Fascinated by the idea of transforming advertising posters, he has exhibited his work in many countries around the world. Eager to protect his freedom of expression, he no longer wants to solely express himself through Gouzou, and we can expect surprises during his residency in Durban.”

Ntombenhle Mbongwe is studying at the KZNSA Durban Centre for Photography since last year, she’s a durbanite photographer and has been the winner of the Alliance Française Foundation photography competition in Kwazulu-Natal. She will follow Jace at every step of the residency and go to Reunion Island for the South African Season in France for the presentation of the work they’ve made together.”

Jace will give a talk about his trips all round the world - together with the character he created 20 years ago, Gouzou - and about his residency/tour in South Africa & Botswana.”

>> Download a PDF with all the tour info and workshop dates here: pdf_jace_eng.pdf

>> Or check out the Facebook event

And here’s Jace in Madagascar:

FRIDAY FEATURE #2: Getting Up with 2kiler & Optone

For our Friday Feature this week, we speak to 2kiler & Optone about getting up. These guys have been painting for quite some time and always bomb hard…

Hi guys how are you keeping?

2KILER: Busy, overworked, underpaid, usual story.
..

OPTONE: I’m good, I guess?

How often do you bomb?

OPTONE: Depends on how busy a week I’m having. At the moment: On a bad week once and on a good week three or four times.

2KILER: I don’t really bomb, I get up whenever I can.


How do you feel about bombing vs piecing?

OPTONE: I don’t think it should be considered a versus thing. I think they should go hand in hand to a certain degree… Being someone that prefers bombing, I don’t mind painting a piece sometimes. As far as piecing goes, if you prefer doing them, that shouldn’t stop you from catching tags, a throwie or even stickers from time to time.

2KILER: Every scene needs every discipline.


Any interesting stories of late?

2KILER: I come across some interesting and entertaining people in the streets on a daily basis, but no one story comes to mind at the moment.

OPTONE: Nothing too recent, but about 3 months ago there was a week or two when every mission just went wrong – Held up at gunpoint, homie got caught catching tags, held up by 5 outies carrying knives, had some shit with cops for an open quart in the car whilst coming home from bombing, and then to top it off a homey got stabbed by some gangster fool… All separate missions with different people. I was beginning to think I was cursed. Luckily none of them resulted in any serious consequences, just some paint lost. Oh and after nothing but a long lecture, the cops gave our quart back!… Almost forgot this one: There was a day when a brick column of a derelict building collapsed almost crushing 2kiler. A close call to say the least!

What do you think of the SA scene?

2KILER: It varies from city to city depending on which political party is in charge. They all have their pros and cons.

OPTONE: Overall, Joburg is where it’s at right now. Proper shit going down there… 
Cape Town in general is quiet, but the trains are on another level!

Who else do you respect in the scene?

OPTONE: Besides my crews OTC and FUK, I respect whoever is out there getting up.

2KILER: Lots of writers… I don’t want to leave anyone out, so let’s say the ones that I respect know that I respect them and same goes for the ones that I don’t.

What was it like painting with Claw last year?

2KILER: Like painting with any other street smart individual who knows what’s up.

OPTONE: She was cool. It was rad to paint with a NYC legend. Besides that, we went pretty hard! A fun mission.

Plans for the rest of the year?

2KILER: I have a busy year ahead personally which obviously I won’t talk about in this interview.
..

OPTONE: I’m a full time student again, so other than studying and working part-time to make rent and fund bad habits, not much else.

Tell us about the zine?

2KILER: It’s our second issue and it’s called I LOVE YOUR WORK. It includes mainly street work from OTC and GLOK crews both locally and abroad. Issue 1 was about 36 pages and Issue2 will be about sixty.

OPTONE: What he said.

Thanks for the feature. Looking forward to the zine!


>> Read more exclusive interviews HERE.

EVENT \\ Conversations On Creativity

>> MORE INFO

Conversations on Creativity is a series of monthly events that bring together creatives and the public to engage and celebrate creativity.

Curated by Creative Nestlings and hosted by a guest host, featuring creative individuals that we invite to share their stories.

http://www.creativenestlings.com/

FRIDAY FEATURE #1: Documenting Graffiti Art with Derek Smith & Klaus Warschkow

Friday Feature is our new weekly feature. Every week we will delve into a different topic related to graffiti and street art in South Africa. Our entire aim of this website is to document and archive this art form and showcase it to the world. Urban art has a life of it’s own, sometimes lasting for weeks, years or only a single day. We feel it is very important to keep a record of these pieces of art and give them life on the internet.

There are two gentleman who have been documenting graffiti and street art for a while now and we are always glad to see their collection grow. Meet Derek Smith and Klaus Warschkow, two photographers who have fallen in love with this art form and are sharing their finds on the net. This is their hobby and they are both very passionate about it - always mentioning the positive aspects of graffiti art in today’s society, and always encouraging new people to fall in love with urban art.

Photos by Klaus Warschkow:

Derek is based in Johannesburg and is an eager follower of the scene, often embarking on adventures to dodgy areas and forgotten places. He sees the “value of street art in a scarred and broken society” and how it can create change and upliftment. “I’ve always liked graffiti but never thought about it much further than that” adds Klaus, who has been capturing the Cape Town scene with his iPhone. “In January 2012, I stopped my car in the road and walked a block back to actively take a photo of graffiti that I had passed a number of times. Instagram gave me an option to share my photos easily, right off my iPhone. It’s been a long time since and I now actively look for new and old graffiti in and around Cape Town. A number of my photos that I took during the Acrylic Walls Project in Cape Town have been picked up by blogs, webzines and magazines.”

With graffiti being such a controversial subject, it is great to see how these two encourage the art form as much as they can. “The graffiti by-laws have killed a lot of artwork in Cape Town. It’s high time we get some legal walls” says Klaus. Derek has also had trouble of his own, dealing with non like-minded resident associations who see graffiti as a very bad thing.

Derek follows most of the Jo’burg artists and regularly takes trips to Cape Town and other parts of the country to record works which he sees as an important part of graffiti archaeology. He is really excited for the upcoming City of Gold Urban Arts Festival where Herakut, a duo from Germany, and his favourite international graffiti artist, will be painting.

Photos by Derek Smith:

Klaus is very keen to meet more local writers and looks forward to seeing the new artists in residence at /A Word Of Art. He also hopes for more collaborations between local and international artists in the future. “We most certainly have local artists that are on the same level as the best of the international artists. A lot of them do deserve more international exposure.”

More photos by Klaus Warschkow:
(highlight the pic and click ‘next’ to view more)

We at GraffitiSouthAfrica.com are super excited for 2013 and can’t wait to see more international artists in our country. Our local artists are also pulling out all the stops and the scene is thriving. “Street art is gaining momentum in a big way in South Africa and this gladdens my heart. It is colourful, makes social statements and it’s art as healing.” - Derek.

More photos by Derek Smith:

Check out more of their photographs:

>> Derek’s Flickr stream

>> Klaus’ Instagram feed

EVENT \\ Doodle Bug

Doodle Bug, a new monthly art event, takes place tonight at It’s A House in Cape Town.

Come through for a communal drawing session, film screenings and sketch battle!

The damage is R30 and it starts at 6pm…

Brought to you by Zabalazaa.

All the info you need is over HERE.

LINKS \\ New blogs and websites

It’s been a while since we’ve mentioned any new blogs or artist websites. Below are a few worthy ones that you should check out… We’ve also updated our Links page with more!

>> Brain Mush Today

>> Crack Ki11as

>> Ghetto Respect

>> Nard Star

>> Obscure Paintings Klan

>> OWN Crew

>> Rail Creepers

>> These Streets Aren’t Made Of Gold

Be sure to share anything interesting that you find on the net - mail@graffitisouthafrica.com or via social media.

NEWS \\ City of Gold Urban Art Festival 2013 announced

The 2013 edition of City of Gold Urban Art Festival is coming soon…

We are super excited after hearing the announcement of the first featured artist; Herakut from Germany.

Herakut - OneThirty3 from onethirty3 on Vimeo.

Herakut is the graffiti duo of Hera (Jasmin Siddiqui) and Akut (Falk Lehmann). Since meeting in 2004, they have exhibited their works worldwide and have a very distinct graffiti style, often working with various mediums on outside walls and in galleries (including sculpture). Most of their work is improvised as the two combine their different skills - Akut’s photo-realism and Hera’s spontaneous and almost ‘dirty’ means of painting - resulting in almost dreamlike paintings which grab the viewers attention.

Looking forward to seeing who else is going to grace Johannesburg with their art…

http://www.cityofgoldfestival.co.za/

PICS \\ Fresh Pieces

Some new graffiti and street art works:

Faith47 - The Silence Before, Pow Wow Festival, Hawaii
http://powwowhawaii.com/participants/faith47/

QK full colour wholecar, Cape Town
Pic: Braden Smulders, via Twitter

Falko, Mitchells Plain, Cape Town
As part of Mirror On The Wall 3

Remed, Cape Town
He’ll be doing a talk tonight (More info here)
Pic: Klaus Warschkow

Send us your images - mail@graffitisouthafrica.com

EVENT \\ Exhibition: AWOA Artist Talks 21 Feb

Freddy Sam will be talking about the awesome Acrylic Walls project which featured international artists Gaia (USA), Jaz (Argentina) and Know Hope (Israel).

Remed (Spain) is back in SA as part of the AWOA Art Residency. He was here for I Art Joburg last year and now we look forward to see his upcoming exhibition!

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Mixed Emotions

LOVE AND HATE & MIXED EMOTIONS

14 - 28 February
Kalashnikovv Gallery
70 Juta, Braamfontein, Johannesburg

A group show with 10 Visionary Artists featuring new work by Black Koki and Ello of Love & Hate Studio.


Facebook event:
http://www.facebook.com/events/506556879395600/

And the Valentines day after-party:
http://www.facebook.com/events/425878874155217/

EVENT \\ Current & forthcoming exhibitions at 34FineArt (feat. Mr Brainwash)

If you’re in Cape Town, head through to the 34FineArt Gallery for the last few days of the Blend group exhibition featuring works by Esther Mahlangu, Asha Zero, Jade Doreen Waller, Motel7, Lionel Smit and Paul du Toit.

>> More info HERE.


Then, opening on the 29th of January, the controversial Mr Brainwash!

>> Read more about this upcoming exhibition HERE.

NEWS \\ Painting Cape Town: SA’s first graffiti book

Painting The Town, a long running Cape Town graffiti blog, have been working on a book which will be released next month. This will be the first book on South African graffiti and will feature pictures and interviews with writers from the Cape Town scene.

Painting Cape Town: Graffiti from South Africa from Matthew Olckers on Vimeo.

You can pre-order the book through Shelflife, who are also publishing the book.

>> MORE INFO