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 \\ What if this City

What if this City envisions a renewed sense of artistic community in Durban. This merging of creative platforms aims to broaden influences and showcase diversity and artistic approach, and in turn build a community that uses the arts as a tool for inspiration.

The inaugural What if this City event will feature live music, art, fashion, dance and more.

Friday May 9, 7pm (FREE ENTRANCE)
Durban University of Technology Art Gallery (and surrounding spaces on Steve Biko Campus)

PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS:

Music, in association with The Bose Experience South Africa and Glenwood Village Music:

  • Sebastian Goldswain
  • Gary Nixon
  • Matt Vend & Wren Hinds
  • Raheem Kemet
  • Ewok
  • Nje
  • Nutscratchers

Live Art, with materials by Liquitex South Africa:

  • Cloud State / Skye T. Steen
  • Nivesh
  • Mook Lion
  • Kev7
  • Roy
  • Dane Draws
  • Sakhile Mhlongo

Photographic installation by Paulo Menezes

Fashion by Drucilla’s Wardrobe on show

Tattooing by Samanthalee Bunnyfluff

Performance by Thabiso Radebe as Joyani Maqa

Dance from 031 Floor Assassins, Flatfoot Training Company, and more

Bar services provided by the Winston Durban
Coffee from Dieketseng the Barista
and food available until 10pm

There will be other interesting things going on throughout the night. Join us. Help inspire! #WhatifthisCity

>> MORE INFO

EVENT \\ Grime Town website launch

>> MORE INFO

Grime Town is a multimedia collective from Johannesburg: We produce apparel, videos, illustrations and photography. The team consists of image makers (graphic design & film), web designers, animators, photographers, bloggers, trend spotters and all round design Jedi knights. The team produces designs related to Grime Town but also produce individual work under their respective domains.

Grime Town started when in 2009; striking Johannesburg garbage collectors would go around the inner city and rip open bin bags. They would spread it all over the street in protest to their demand of better salaries. The city was filthy for a few weeks and people had no choice but to pass through the inner city as that is how they get to work. Others who live in the inner city basically lived next to heaps of rubble. Johannesburg CBD is always somewhat filthy, due to the influx of people from all walks of life. Hence the name Grime Town.

Our cause is to document and contribute to street culture in modern Africa. Cape Town is the design capital of the world. Our aim at Grime Town is to stylise and change the perception on what current African designs and images should look like or what they should depict. We are students of street culture, which means that, we are submerged in it, we live it everyday and observe the ever growing changes it is going through. We are telling our stories through our merchandise which include clothing, posters, photographs and prints, as well as short articles about people and products relevant to street culture. We also collaborate with fellow artists and musicians through projects such as art exhibitions, collaborative illustration projects and Grime Town produced, directed and edited films and music videos. We are open to collaborations.

We are launching a website soon. We will use that platform as an online gallery, an online store where Grime Town merchandise will be for sale, as well as an online magazine where we spot design trends from the rest of Africa and the world and share content that inspire us to do good or bad.

Grime Town is primarily inspired by the current lifestyles of the people who live in the inner city. So that includes the taxi industry, the thrifting lifestyle, the fast pace one needs to be walking at, the different people who sell and commute in the CBD etc. A lot of our inspiration is taken from designs from the end of the 80s to mid 90s. These include street art, graffiti, baseball and sports logos, kiosk typography (text and signage), barbershop art, 90s kwaito culture, how Pantsulas and west coast rappers dress the same. We are inspired by the pigeon and its thrive for survival - which reminds us of the same struggle humans go through on a daily basis. The pigeon wears a fisherman bucket hat (spoti) and all stars, which are reminiscent of the dress code that kwaito popularised.

Read an interview with Grime Town by Way Magazine HERE

FEATURE \\ Back To The City 2014 (+ Ticket Giveaway!)

The annual Freedom Day hip-hop festival, Back To The City, is around the corner - and it promises to be the biggest one yet! We spoke to Ritual Media Group’s Osmic Menoe, founder of the event and all-round hip-hop maestro…

Tell me about Back To The City festival.

Back To The City is a festival that is aimed at celebrating Freedom Day, using Hip Hop as a form of expression. We are on our 8th year and can only hope to further share the importance of the day with those who will be in attendance.

What can be expected at this years fest?

Celebrating 20 Years of Freedom’ is our theme this year. Everything from the Hip Hop Summit to the fun activities at the festival will be centered around this. People can look forward to high value entertainment and bigger outlets for their chosen art form, be it dance, rap or graffiti etc.


Quest, 2013 graffiti competition winners


Amp1, 2013

How does graffiti fit into this event?

It is one of the most important elements of hip-hop, and we always make a point to highlight it. Respected graffiti artists from across the country are invited to participate in the graffiti competition, managed by Two by Two Art Studios, who are street art experts.

What feedback have you received about the graffitied pillars in the past?

The feedback has been greatly positive. A lot of value has been added to the Newtown district, as the graffiti pillars are now one of the biggest tourist attractions in town. Wedding pictures, family portraits, music videos and commercial adverts have used them as a backdrop.

What positive role does graffiti play in Joburg’s inner city?

Newtown specifically, has become a home for graffiti artists, all the street art is sanctioned and appreciated by the masses. High quality works are produced and people are starting to understand that graffiti murals and graffiti vandalism are two different things. City councils are showing support, artists are getting commissioned for their work, tourism is increasing, and long term value is created.


DS, 2012 graffiti competition winners


Osmic Menoe, founder of the festival.

Anything else you’d like to mention about BTTC 2014?

It will be bigger and better. For more information visit http://www.backtothecityfestival.com, follow us on Twitter @backtothecitySA, and “like” our Facebook Page ‘Back To The City Festival’.

>> We have 2x Double tickets to giveaway! Check out our Facebook page for more info about how to win.


Ryza, 2012

PICS \\ New Kliptown walls, April 2014

New artworks have been added to the Kliptown landscape this month. Below of some of these new pieces.


Riot


Trips


Falko


Falko


Rasty & Falko


Mundano (Brazil)


Falko


Rasty & Falko


Riot


Riot


Drake & Tower


Falko


Martha Cooper


Tower & Riot


Ekse


Trips & Riot


Falko


Lady Aiko (USA) works from 2013, with Mein


Falko


(Unknown Artist)


Falko


Falko


Kasi & Falko

Photos: © Cale Waddacor

NEWS \\ New works painted in Kliptown, Soweto

Last week, the suburb of Kliptown, the oldest residential district in Johannesburg’s South Western Townships (Soweto), saw a creative influx as Redbull’s Amaphiko Academy was taking place between 4 and 13 April, 2014.

Running alongside the main event, graffiti artists including Falko and Rasty painted various walls throughout the community. Renowned graffiti photographer, Martha Cooper, who was a guest speaker and mentor at the conference, was also present, snapping away at the festivities. This was Martha’s third visit to South Africa - last year she and stencil artist, Lady Aiko (USA), stayed with the Soweto Art Residency and also worked in and around the Kliptown area.

Rowan Pybus captured some action on one of the days…

Photos: ©rowan@makhulu

Other graffiti artists who put up new artworks throughout last week include Riot, Trips, Drake, Tower, Kasi, Ekse, and Mundano from Brazil. More pictures to follow.

VIDEO \\ Gasak - Obey You Collective

The next featured graffiti artist for Sprite’s ‘Obey You Collective’ series is Gasak from Pietermaritzbug.
The first was pastelheart, featured here.

The short films follow the 23-year-old artist on various painting expeditions as he engages with township communities and brings about a positive outlook on graffiti culture. He’s also currently in Mexico and The US for a new project, Face The Peace. Find out more in an interview with him here.

Obey You Collective’ is brought to you by Sprite and The Fader Magazine and features young creatives in various disciplines. With great photography and video documentation by Adriaan Louw, you’ll be sure to enjoy this series…

Take a deep-dive into South Africa’s artistic street culture. This series of mini-documentaries, photography, and interviews introduces a few of South Africa’s most driven, talented, and forward-thinking young artists and entrepreneurs. You’ll also get a street-level look into the distinctive scenes and communities where South Africa’s brightest live, work, and create.

Photographs by Adriaan Louw

>> http://www.thefader.com/sprite

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Media Monster

Two by Two Art Studio presents:
Media Monster, an exhibition by Rayaan Cassiem (Cape Town) and Nic Hooper (Johannesburg)

What started with a simple online conversation has become the driving force behind an exhibition that responds to social media and the effects it has on our identity and choice. The exhibition explores the idea of creating a mask that is socially acceptable. Through this we are able to present our ultimate lifestyle or perhaps mask the ones we’re trying to avoid.

Both artists agreed to the exhibition before they met, but were unaware how similar their backgrounds and interests are. Rayaan and Nic have been largely influenced by graphic design, comic books, animation, video games as well as fine art, but are also passionate about graffiti and street art.

24 April 2014, 6pm - 9pm
41 Gwigwi Mrwebi (formerly Pim) Street, Johannesburg

>> MORE INFO

PICS \\ Veronika in São Paulo, Brazil

Street artist, Veronika, has been getting busy outside of SA with recent trips to London and now São Paulo. Here’s what has gone down in Brazil’s graffiti capital thus far:

Images via Facebook

Excited to see what else comes from this trip, especially if there’s going to be a video.

EVENT \\ Festigraff, Senegal Graffiti Festival 2014

We’ll be covering the 5th annual Festigraff graffiti festival that takes place in Dakar, Senegal. This year, South African artists Kasi and Falko have been invited to participate and will be sharing some photographs with us during the event. It looks like it’s going to be an exciting festival, big ups to the North African graffiti movement!

Follow the posts in our ‘Rest of Africa’ section here.

>> MORE INFO

EVENT \\ Exhibition: My people, let Pharaoh go by Khaya Witbooi

Khaya Witbooi’s second solo exhibition opens at the Worldart gallery on 3 April 2014.

This top 40 finalist for the SPI National Portrait Awards 2013 explores the socio-political reality of democracy in South Africa. His visual language is drawn from city walls and urban underground culture and he uses stencil techniques and oil painting to create his urban style paintings.

Titled ‘My people, let Pharaoh go’, this exhibition asks why people are faithful to an institution that does not seem to serve them when it is clear that it is just another system of oppression.

“It’s like playing a defence game. South Africa is not moving forward at all. What does it mean especially going into an election? If we buy into the belief that things are okay, we aren’t getting any closer to a solution,” says Witbooi.

Worldart is located at 54 Church Street, Cape Town. The exhibition closes on 30 April 2014.

FEATURED GALLERY \\ The Black Box

The Black Box is an exciting art exhibition and project space in Cape Town for emerging artists. The gallery opened its doors at the end of 2012 and is run by Charl Bezuidenhout, who also runs the Worldart Gallery next door. Great street art and illustration exhibitions of the past include Love & Hate Studio’s ‘Future Positive’ & ‘Time Through Space’, as well as Grant Jurius and Rayaan Cassiem‘s solo exhibitions.

We spoke to Charl about his gallery and the awesome upcoming shows relating to graffiti and street art…

Tell me about your gallery…

The Black Box is a space where I host exhibitions that are about more than just meeting the bottom line – it is an art lab. It is funded by Worldart, a business I started ten years ago, and I am quite proud of having created a channel that allows this level of unadulterated expression. With no government funding, little or no funding from institutions like the Lottery Board, and bigger corporate entities increasingly cutting down on funding for the arts, we need creative ways to keep non-commercial galleries alive. The Black Box is my go at it. Of course commercial galleries are important, but we need experimental galleries to ensure balance.

What made you want to open an art gallery?

I studied law, travelled wide, and did many other things before I found myself doing what I do today. With the benefit of hindsight, I can safely say that I gravitated towards the things that I value and love. It is important to manage your life in such a way that it keeps that door open.

Where does the name ‘The Black Box’ come from or what does it mean?

It is relevant on two levels: It refers to a device used on airplanes that record the pilots’ conversations and is built in such a way that it is indestructible. This device contains clues to the truth of certain situations. It also serves as the opposite of the “white cube”, a concept that has become synonymous with commercial galleries.

What kind of art do you showcase?

It can be anything, from street art to fine art to installations – absolutely anything. As long as I am intrigued or interested, and am convinced of its artistic integrity.

After hosting a few street art and graffiti related exhibits, what do you think about graffiti stepping out of the streets and into a white wall gallery?

Street art in galleries will never replace or constrain street art in the streets. It is art and art galleries show art.

What do you think about the current state of art in South Africa?

It is healthy. It always has been and always will be. As long as people have something to say, they will find ways to say it, and this is why it is always exciting.

Anything else planned for the rest of the year? Or anything that you would like to share with our readers?

I am excited by so many things: Our next exhibition, opening this week, is titled Crossroad – a collaboration between South African artist Roger Williams and German artist Dee One. A show with Love & Hate in May, and Beat Banksy in September. I’m also opening a new gallery in Munich next month, plus Khaya Witbooi and Kilmany-Jo Liversage’s solo exhibitions coming up at Worldart. It is insane because this list can go on forever.


Khaya Witbooi

The gallery is located at 52 Church Street, Cape Town.

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