Throughout this week, various Wide Open Walls 2014 pictures have been surfacing during our online browsing. Therefore, we found it quite fitting to go back and highlight some of the new murals that have been added to the landscape since the 2011 edition of the project…
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)
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…
>> MORE INFO
After the success of the I ART WOODSTOCK and I ART SOWETO community art projects held last year, adidas Originals brings you I ART JOBURG. This September, five world-renowned artists will paint six large scale murals in the Maboneng Precinct, East Johannesburg.
Madrid local Remed has mural artworks scattered across the world, which combine strikingly bold colours with strong lines and a raw African-inspired cubism.
- Steve ‘Espo’ Powers
Along with sign-writing connoisseurs the Icy Sign Team, they will paint two murals in true Espo-typographic-style.
Famous for his obsession with painting animals, the unveiling of the mural by Roa from Belgium is eagerly anticipated.
- Martha Cooper
Best known for documenting the New York graffiti scene, legendary street culture photographer Martha Cooper will be documenting the I ART JOBURG community art project.
- Cameron Platter
Durban-based fine artist Cameron Platter will be making the transition from exclusive gallery space to inclusive community space.
Cape Town-based graffiti artist Falko is not only admired for his style, but also for establishing graffiti as a credible art form in South Africa.
The painting has commenced, starting off with a Remed mural, and we cannot wait to see the results. There will also be I ART JOBURG Talks and screenings of the documentary “Love Letter To You” by Steve ‘Espo’ Powers during STR/CRD/12 which takes place at the end of the month. Both are free to the public, but there is limited space.
Guided I ART JOBURG Walks will be curated by Ricky Lee Gordon a.k.a Freddy Sam of /A WORD OF ART in October and an exhibition of Martha Cooper’s photo documentary of the mural art project will be held in the Maboneng Precinct, open for two months before moving to Cape Town.
Plascon are the official paint supplier to adidas Originals I ART JOBURG community art project and have donated 400 litres of paint towards the project.
>> Visit www.i-art-joburg.com and follow on Twitter
Read all about Wide Open Walls 2011 in our Rest of Africa section. The project took place earlier this month in The Gambia and featured some great artists from all around the world.
All photos by Jonx Pillimer, except where stated.
Best Ever (UK)
Bushdwellers (The Gambia)
Selah (South Africa)
Know Hope (Israel)
Freddy Sam (South Africa), pic by Sydelle Willow Smith