Besides from a few events and exhibitions that we never posted, here are a few other highlights from 2015 we didn’t share. In no particular order…Keep reading →
TAKE your idea of an average public transport hub in a South African CBD; add about 400 000 daily commuters and 8 000 informal traders, and you will have a mental image of what a day at the intersection of David Webster and Julius Nyerere Street in Durban is like.
This hub is called Warwick Junction (also Warwick Triangle) and it is here that Cape Town-based artist, Faith 47, has recently completed six murals which feature people who are traders at the market as her models.
She was invited to paint murals in Durban as part of the 25th World Congress on Architecture and, after scouting different parts of the city, she settled on Warwick Junction.
“Of all the places we looked at in Durban there is nothing quite like the market. I think quite a few people in Durban avoid that area, seeing it as a ‘danger’ zone, and I admit there are definitely some criminal elements at work there, but there is also a wealth of culture and vibrancy that is part of the real fabric of our country.” - Faith 47
It was this sense of vibrancy and culture that she wanted to celebrate by choosing to ask the traders at the market to be in the murals.
“When I first visited the Warwick triangle, I was quite overwhelmed and I fell in love with it immediately. It’s a very intense area; the different markets are all sitting right on top of each other but there is a chaotic order to it, overall. It is the people themselves who create the identity of this space and it’s grown quite organically over time. I’m interested in informal trading because it is a great strength to the economy, but it seems that the government prefers to support big business judging from the trading by-laws that are increasingly becoming tighter. There are plans for a mall to be built in this location which will threaten the livelihood of traders in the area and I wanted to paint something that they would feel belongs to them, something that represents them and acknowledges their presence there.”
The eThekwini municipality announced plans in 2009 to build a mall at the intersection but the traders were opposed to these plans and the matter eventually resulted in clashes between the traders and metro police. Now, five years later, there is no mall at the site as yet.
Picking only six subjects in a place that is made up of about 8 000 traders, most of whom are women, was not an easy task for Faith. There are different markets at the junction; some sell beadwork, arts and craft, food, meat and some traditional healers also consult from there. Her request for people to be in her murals had to go through the committees of the specific markets in which the people worked in.
“The people at the nyama (meat) market would hardly even let us explain the project to them as they just assumed we were there to exploit them. So we were aggressively chased away, which was quite a disappointing experience. The other markets, however, were much more inviting and we sat for ages with Ma-Dlamini hearing about the experiences that the traders face.”
Faith says it was important to have the traders’ participation and it worked out smoothly in the end.
“I’m happy with the final images. For instance, Xolani is actually an inyanga (traditional healer), but in the portrait he looks like an ordinary man where one cannot necessarily see his profession through any traditional clothes (in the mural). I’m happy about that because the murals are true to life, represent the everyday person. We pass people on the street and their background, their many life stories and experiences are hidden within them.”
Street art and architecture do not always sit comfortably with each other because what one sees as street art looks like a wall being defaced to someone else. But, Faith says her work and architecture are tied together in a very specific way.
“The work I do interacts with architecture in a very specific manner, I am always studying walls, looking for buildings with character or power. I am sensitive to the style, textures and feeling of the buildings around me.”
“Architecture can alienate or embrace a community. Architects are often insensitive to this or planning is done in a way that is impersonal or irrelevant to the needs of the community. An architect holds a special kind of power. But essentially it is the people who then create a space, break down walls, reinvent areas for ways that serve their lifestyle. This is a very interesting sphere of study.”
Words and interview by Neo Maditla (@neo_maditla),
for Graffiti South Africa. August, 2014.
Photographs by Luca Barausse, Michelle Hankinson, Kierran Allen and Faith47.
Faith sends special thanks to Ma-Dlamini, Mr Singh, Mambutho and Xolani Nwza, of which four of the pillars feature their portraits. The other two feature animals; a tiger and a cow.
Watch the official video of Faith 47 in Durban for a greater sense of the work its surroundings:
New, limited edition prints from Faith47 are being released. The last release was sold out very quickly, so don’t sleep on this.
FAITH47 :: SOLSTICE
The first in a collectable series of intimate books and screen-prints from Faith47
THE HIDDEN YEARS :: VOLUME ONE
Compilation of sketches from 2013 & 2014
A5 size, 80 pages
Signed and numbered
Edition of 100
CHAOS :: SCREENPRINT
5 layer screenprint on Stardream Antique Gold
21 x 15cm
Signed and numbered
Edition of 100
Release date: 21 JUNE 2014
Release time: 10:00 LA, 13:00 NYC, 18:00 London, 17:00 JHB
*one order per house-hold, any mass orders will be cancelled.
As shared on our Facebook page, Faith47 has recently completed a new large-scale mural in Cape Town in collaboration with Design Indaba and Thingking. The mural, entitled ‘Harvest’, is painted near one of Cape Town’s busiest highways and aims to combine street art and social awareness. This project, #ANOTHERLIGHTUP, is a crowd-funding campaign to raise funds and install much needed street lights in the Monwabisi Park informal settlement in Khayelitsha. Every time a donation is made, the mural lights up for an evening.
Photos by @Makhulu (Rown Pybus)
Visit the official website for more info on this great initiative:
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.
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
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
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.
Click ‘next’ to view more images…
Some new graffiti and street art works:
Faith47 - The Silence Before, Pow Wow Festival, Hawaii
QK full colour wholecar, Cape Town
Pic: Braden Smulders, via Twitter
Falko, Mitchells Plain, Cape Town
As part of Mirror On The Wall 3
Send us your images - firstname.lastname@example.org
The long awaited Faith47 solo exhibition opens this Thursday (8 November) at David Krut Projects, 140 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg.
Faith47’s “Fragments of a Burnt History” is comprised of an installation of found objects and artwork created in the artist’s studio, as well as a new series of monotypes produced in collaboration with the David Krut Print Workshop. Faith47, based in Cape Town, is a recognised street artist whose work can be found in cities all over the world. She has an established international gallery career, with exhibitions in Europe, America and Australia, but Fragments of a Burnt History is her first solo exhibition in South Africa, indicating a culture of cross-over from street to studio that is already well underway abroad.
The body of work presented in this exhibition is, appropriately, drawn from the artist’s experience of her own country, particularly the city of Johannesburg. Although the work is not a direct interpretation of the city, her experience is of Johannesburg as a representative African city, the streets full of the energy of transformation and endless possibility, but also the evidence of the harsh realities of day to day life. The textures of the streets are incorporated into her studio work, which becomes a combination of her signature graphic style and marks left behind by people who were in those locations before her. The installation of work communicates the emotion that Faith47 experiences on the streets, which tell her ‘a real, hard and beautifully sad story.’ The nostalgic architecture of the city is present in the work, and the sense that the ‘history of the city is etched deep into its streets’ – the works are fragments of this history, containing signs of the dynamic transition that has been, at times, reeling and painful, but has also been honest, allowing itself to be offered up for comment and consumption. The voices of the people that occupy this symbolic South African city, incorporated into Faith47’s own voice, allow her work to function as a penetrative look into the psyche of the spaces that we communally inherit.
Check out the teaser video:
>> MORE INFO
Makhulu Productions has released short video clips of graffiti pieces in Cape Town. These videos show the direct environment surrounding the artworks and capture the natural atmosphere. International artists Cern (USA), MYMO (Germany), DodieBoy a.k.a David Shillinglaw (UK), and DALeast (China) are featured, as well as local hero Faith47.
>> Watch the videos HERE.
Believe is a short documentary of a public art/mural project which took place in Rochester, New York in July 2011. The goal: to inspire the local community and communicate a positive message. Ian Wilson, co-founder of non-profit organisation The Synthesis Collaborative, brought the project to life and invited South African artists to participate. Cape Town’s Faith47, Mak1one, Freddy Sam and Dal were among the artists involved and several murals were painted.
Freddy Sam is back in the US - painting murals, exhibiting works and doing some sight-seeing.
He has already painted great stuff with international artists in New York and Rochester, and is currently in Portland. He is taking part in Living Walls which takes place next month in Atlanta.
Check out some of the new works that Freddy Sam has done:
Canvas session, Rochester
Brooklyn Community Block Party with whoever else wanted to add to the wall
All pics courtesy of Freddy Sam, with thanks
What is Graffiti? What is Fine Art?
This is ‘Graffiti Fine Art’…
Trailer for an upcoming documentary film about graffiti and its place in the world of art. 65 artists from 13 countries took part in the 1st Biennial International “Graffiti Fine Art” Exhibition at the MuBE Museum in São Paulo, Brazil.
Directed by Jared Levy.
Below are new photographs of the murals in Woodstock, Cape Town. Some were painted recently for the I Art SA community mural project and some by international artists as part of the /A Word of Art residency programme.
Artists that feature are:
- Freddy Sam
- David Shillinglaw (UK)
- Boamistura (Spain)
- Andrew Breitenberg
- Tika (Switzerland)
- Black Koki
- Dathini Mzayiya
- Fuzzy Slippers
- Indigo (Canada)
All photos courtesy of Derek Smith.
Faith47 is one of South Africa’s best graffiti artists and one of the leading female urban artists in the world. She creates powerful, thought-provoking images that reflect on social issues. Her artwork speaks to the individual as it crosses both artistic and cultural borders.
Her first book is due for release in March 2011 through From Here to Fame Publishing as part of the ON THE RUN series.
Title: FAITH 47
Series: On The Run Books
Author: From Here to Fame Publishing
Pages: 128 full color
Photographs: ca. 250 photographs & illustrations
Format: 23.5 x 16cm (9.25 x 6.3 inches)
Language: English edition
Published: 5th of March 2011
ISBN Paperback: 978-3-937946-08-5
Price Paperback: 9.95 €
Limited collector’s Edition:
ISBN Hardcover: 978-3-937946-09-2
Silver Embossed Hardcover with Jacket & Stitch Binding
Price Hardcover: 14.95 €