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.

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