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.

2014 Round-up: Year In Review (Highlights)

We’re kicking off the year with the best highlights from 2014…

Featuring:

  • Ekons (RIP) Tribute
  • Another Light Up Project
  • Butan x DS Clothing Collab
  • Converse Clash Wall
  • Obey You Collective: Sprite x The Fader
  • Painting Cape Town Documentary
  • Redbull Amaphiko
  • Festigraff 5 in Senegal
  • Styles From The Streets Exhibition
  • Montana Just Writing My Name Jam 2014
  • Djerbahood Mural Project in Tunisia
  • Faith47 Murals in Durban
  • The Box Project in Durban
  • Epic Train Painting in Cape Town
  • Then & Now Feature
  • OBEY (Shepard Fairey) in South Africa
  • City of Gold Urban Art Festival 2014
  • Tag for JAG Exhibition
  • Resistance Project: Public Art Installation
  • Freedumb Graffiti Exhibition
  • Ism Skism Art Residency in Clarens
  • Kevin Love Exhibition and Interview
  • Graffiti South Africa Book Release
  • Faith47 Releases and Solo Exhibition
  • Bias’ Graffiti Tour App
  • Riot Crowned #1
  • Gallery Features
  • Event & Exhibition Follow-ups
  • Image Round-ups
  • What We Missed in 2014

>> READ MORE

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2014 Round-up: What We Missed

A brief recap of happenings that we didn’t cover throughout 2014, the year that was…

Featuring:

  • Word On The 5treet Wheatpastes
  • Primal Herd Exhibition
  • Art & Artists Book
  • Cape Town Art Street
  • Freddy Sam x RVCA
  • The Gloks Fanzine
  • Inventory Exhibition
  • Jebo in Frankfurt - MTN Video
  • Nando’s Accidental Art Project
  • City of Gold Sneaker Collab
  • Night of 1000 Drawings CPT
  • Redbull Doodle Art
  • BewareOfColour Urban Art Project
  • Tokolos Collective
  • CORE Collective in UAE
  • Falko One in Prince Albert, Karoo
  • Friends Zine
  • RIOT exhibition II
  • Mandela Day in KwaMashu
  • Fridge Art
  • 30 Days & A City: Public Exhibit

>> READ MORE

Keep reading →

EVENT \\ Exhibition: FETE - an art show or something

Come see art like you’ve never seen art. You’ve probably never seen art. You probably won’t know it’s art. This Shepard Fairey poster isn’t stolen. You don’t know these artists. More artists won’t be announced soon. It’s not art. It’s not even real. It’s doesn’t exist. You don’t exist.

>> READ MORE

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Flatlands Tour: The Ism-Skism Residency in Clarens

Popularly known for its art scene, the small, tourist town of Clarens in the Free State has recently born witness to a new creative wonder – so-called urban art.

As with many galleries – seemingly elitist and inaccessible - most of the local community does not get to experience the beauty and fascination of art. However, recently, this practice has been targeted by a new artist residency that aims to break down these barriers…

>> READ MORE

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EVENT \\ Exhibition: Look Mickey!

34FineArt is pleased to announce a new group exhibition featuring works by several well known local and international artists, who have in various ways appropriated this iconic image of popular culture.

>> READ MORE

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NEWS \\ FFSA Creative Workshop & Art Mural Project

During the week of October 6th, the Football Foundation of South Africa implemented the FFSA Creative Workshop & Art Mural Project in collaboration with international artist and photographer, Jared Aufrichtig. This week-long community art project took place at the Bet-El Mission Church in the township of Blompark, where Jared utilized his…

>> READ MORE

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PICS \\ FREEDUMB: A Graffiti Exhibition (Johannesburg)

Our first exhibition, Freedumb, took place for one-night-only at Assemblage Studios in Newtown, Johannesburg last week Thursday, October 30th. The exhibition was curated by Korean-based art organisation, Public Delivery and features a behind-the-scenes look at the processes and lifestyles of graffiti writers, mainly within Europe’s underground subway system.

>> READ MORE

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EVENT \\ Red Eye Durban 2014

Red Eye Durban 2014 will take place at The Bakery in Umbilo (106 Khuzimpi Shezi / Williams Road). There will be art, music, dance, poetry, photo-booth, installations, digital films, pop-up store & more.

>> READ MORE

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EVENT \\ Exhibition: FREEDUMB

Public Delivery in association with Graffiti South Africa presentFREEDUMB. 1 exhibition, 3 days, 6 continents.

An insider view of the underground graffiti culture in Europe. Featuring photographic work by Phil America and internationally acclaimed graffiti writers Taps & Moses™ and UTAH & ETHER.

>> READ MORE

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PICS \\ Exclusive Photos of Shepard Fairey Bottle Signing for Hennessy

Shepard Fairey, a.k.a OBEY Giant, was in Johannesburg this past weekend to promote his collaboration with Hennessy Cognac. Two exclusive events took place on Saturday - the bottle signing/meet-and-greet at Anti Est. in Braamfontein, and the launch party at Arts on Main that featured Shepard’s very own DJ set.

>> READ MORE

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EVENT \\ Shepard Fairey (OBEY) in South Africa, 20 September

This weekend, don’t miss the man himself - Shepard Fairey in Johannesburg!

Bottle signing (Day event):

All information on the flyer…

Launch party (Night event):

//PRIVATE FUNCTION - exclusive tickets up for grabs though:

Head on over to the Facebook page and WIN yourself some tickets…

VIDEO \\ Sure 40HK at Back To The City Festival

Exclusive video of Sure (40HK) painting at this years Back To The City Hip-Hop Festival in Johannesburg.

Video & photographs by Cale Waddacor

Sure 40HK @ Back To The City from Cale Waddacor on Vimeo.

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Shifting Territories

Opening tomorrow night in Durban at KZNSA Gallery, 18h00.

Reading the city.
Our movement within a city, the way we interact with its streetscape, its surfaces, its asperities and ruptures, is a reading. As we move we actualise a path – a path that is individual, and yet constrained by the possibilities offered. It is much as if we move elliptically through a page of text, accepting some parts, reflecting on or rejecting others. Cognitively, the memories and associations of our lives that subtend the places we pass through, form a network of meaning and reference. Our movement gives this a chronology, the same chronology that is used in narrative - linking through time events that should perhaps find their reason in affect, or gender, or necessity, more than a serial ordering. Finally the coherence produced through reference, ellipsis, conjunction is that of the text – a text whose ultimate meaning lies in the hands of the reader. A text that cannot be neutral but that is shot through with questions of power and access.

Writing the city.
Power, when conceived of as constitutive of the public sphere, as inherent in the categorisations and legalities which influence our reading, allows us to understand how a city is also a textual economy. Street Art is a fundamental, transgressive, part of this economy. Its transgression is both physical and visual. Physically it appropriates, dislodges, superimposes and subverts. Visually it contravenes genres in a writing that opens divergent meanings.

Street Art doesn’t speak TO its immediate environment, it doesn’t speak ABOUT its immediate environment. It JOINS the environment, attaching itself and all of its ego and contradictions and politics, forcing itself to be seen, experienced, witnessed, and ultimately reacted with. It claims its space unashamedly, forcing us to question its existence, to contest its existence, and when we cannot provide any adequate rationalization for why it shouldn’t exist, we must eventually accept it. It forces us to come to terms with our rapidly diminishing space for free expression in the constant commodification of culture and its continued containment in easy-to-ignore categories of constraint: fashion, entertainment, exhibition, publication. By forcing us deeper into our environment, by forcing us to connect graphically with the street, to position ourselves for, or against, or with it, Street Art brings us back into sharp focus as active participants in the lived presence of our public spaces. We begin to re-style our streets, to customize our concrete confines.

Graffiti culture artists refer to themselves as ‘writers’, concerned primarily with letters and a unique style of expressing the angles and aspects of the alphabet. Consequently, the act of painting your ‘name’ or the collection of letters you enjoy expressing is known as ‘style-writing’. The simplest form, the artist signature, commonly called a ‘tag’ is more correctly termed a ‘hand-style’. - Ewok

The exhibition.
The challenge of bringing Street Art to a gallery is the challenge of translating subversion of style, transgression of place and divergence of meaning within a frame that reduces the possibilities of the media – surface texture, lighting, movement, context – whilst also inhibiting the movement of the gaze, the path through the city that was also a reading of Street and Art.

Transgression and movement must therefore be found within the works that are displayed. The two central pieces of this exhibition illustrate this in different ways.

The white on white graffiti by Ewok subverts a static reading. Sheen, relief, contour, form, are only discernible as one changes perspective and distance – bringing movement back into the space of the gallery. It is a reading that also requires engagement and an implication by the viewer, returning this work to the space of the street’s divergent discourses.

The final composition involving several street artists - on the floor of the gallery - requires a reading path across its surface. To read one must actualise a path, a vector, a direction over the composition. To create this composition the artists, the writers, were also asked to blindfold themselves and to let their pen traverse paper, apprehending the space of the paper in a movement that could only feel, understand the distances and the orientation – much as we cross the city.

Where to from here?
The artists, the writers, of this exhibition is already developing a project with the city with regards to understanding Street Art and how a re-writing of the city is also a way of empowering and developing.

Concept note by William Kelleher, socio-linguist and educator.

WIN tickets to meet OBEY (Shepard Fairey in South Africa)

As mentioned last week, Hennessy will be bringing the infamous street artist Shepard Fairey (a.k.a OBEY Giant) to Johannesburg this Saturday, 20 September.

Here’s your chance to win tickets to the bottle signing during the day or the launch event in the evening…

What’s up for grabs:

  • 2 x double tickets to the launch (Night @ Arts on Main, Maboneng)
  • 1 x ticket to the bottle signing (Day @ Anti. Est, Braamfontein)

Get your hands on the prize:

Name one of the values that Hennessy and Shepard Fairey share?

Terms & Conditions (GSA):

  • You MUST share our promotional post on Facebook.
  • Entrants must be able to attend the events this Saturday.
  • Entrants must be older than 18 years of age.
  • The prize is not exchangeable for cash or anything else.
  • Only the tickets are up for grabs, no Hennessy products.
  • Winners will be picked randomly.
  • More T’s & C’s on the Hennessy website.

Competition closes on Thurday 18 September.
Winners will be announced on Friday…

GOOD LUCK!

NEWS \\ Shepard Fairey a.k.a OBEY in South Africa for Hennessy

Iconic American street artist extraordinaire, Shepard Fairey (a.k.a OBEY), has recently designed a limited edition bottle for Hennessy Cognac - Hennessy Very Special by Shepard Fairey.

Hennessy has also invited Shepard Fairey to celebrate this release with a world tour that hits ten of the worlds most influential cities, including Johannesburg!

Fairey will create a mural in Maboneng Precinct in September 2014 with the objective of uplifting the local community with a thought-provoking visual.

More info about the creation of the bottle design:

“My inspiration in coming up with the art for this Limited Edition was really based on the legacy of Hennessy as a brand,” says Shepard Fairey of his Hennessy Very Special Label design. “To me, Hennessy has always been about quality, authenticity, tradition and elegance.”

The appreciation of Hennessy that Shepard Fairey possessed prior to being invited on this project provided him with a solid background to furthermore explore the brand’s history and savoir-faire.

Invited to Cognac to discover the full Hennessy experience, Fairey embarked on a journey to make his powerful art mesh with such a storied house. When creating his designs, Shepard Fairey wanted to use every possible surface available: “I like the idea of creating an intimate relationship with the owner of the Limited Edition bottle, for them to see my work and to see how every space is utilised from different perspectives: the top of the bottle, the neck, the label.”

The “star icon” mandala featured at the centre of the bottle represents Shepard Fairey’s search for completeness and self-unity, with its signature Obey icon standing as a tribute to his own design heritage: “I’ve always wanted to progress but also always keep a visual connection to some of the elements from my historic work, so that people can see that it has all been a progression of an idea and a style.” The colour scheme used on the label enhance the direct parallel between his signature stylings and Hennessy’s trademark aesthetics: “The great thing is that a lot of the colours and elements that I like to use in my work have been used at Hennessy: gold, black, cream, and red.”

Lifting key features from historic Hennessy designs as well as his own designs, the Very Special Limited Edition
by Shepard Fairey represents the artist’s unique interpretation of the perfect balance between tradition and innovation: “It was amazing for me to see how I could translate my art to the bottle, hopefully retaining the essence of what is beautiful and powerful about it, while bringing my own spirit to it as well.”

EVENT \\ Johannesburg Street - Alphabet Zoo by Isaac Zavale & Minenkulu Ngoyi

Johannesburg Street recreates the city of Johannesburg as one long street through mediums such as printmaking, painting, photography, videography and publications. Alphabet Zoo is a street-culture zine that invites collaboration with other young talented artists, illustrators, publishers and designers. By running silk screen and zine workshops, the Alphabet Zoo duo of Minekulu Ngoyi and Isaac Zavale, Johannesburg-based printmakers, will interact with various public spaces, both in terms of production and exhibiting work. One of the aims of the Alphabet Zoo Research Project is to explore the possibilities of hosting the first Zine Fair or Zine Fest in the city of Johannesburg.

Ngoyi and Zavale both studied at Artist Proof Studios and have been exhibiting in a number of group shows in the last two years, including “AS SEEN ON TV” at Sibi Gallery, and as part of the Independent Publishing Project at the Goethe-Institut and produced with Keleketla! Library and Johannesburg Central Library. Ngoyi and Zavale work from Newtown and are involved in running the newly opened printmaking studio ‘Prints on Paper’.

18 September, 18h30
Goethe on Main @ Arts On Main
245 Main Street, Maboneng, Johannesburg

>> MORE INFO

Join the Johannesburg Street project and take part in free workshops around illustration, zines, book binding, lino cut & monoprint, and more. Here’s the brand new workshop schedule. Registration via http://www.docs.google.com/forms/d/1pfsh417VUy3VNXsfB6f6nVd8VBXbZnyBdBsFbFby5nE/viewform?edit_requested=true

EVENT \\ Poison City: Out Of This World Jam

A graffiti jam will be taking place in Westville, Durban this coming weekend. The idea is to get everyone to come together and collaborate on a thematic production.

The wall that will be painted:

The overall theme is “Out of this World”, so think space etc.
Black primer background with purple and pink planets etc. Orange and red, hot browns (warm colours) for fills and white outline with greys in the 3D. Yellow second outline/ floating second. Whatever your vibe is.

AFRICA \\ Djerbahood, mural project in Tunisia

The Djerbahood project is described as a “true open-air museum” as 150 street artists from 30 nationalities descend upon a single village island - Djerba, Erriadh - in Tunisia…

>> READ MORE

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EVENT \\ Exhibition: A Boy Named Veronika

On the anniversary of Grayscale Gallery’s fourth year we are proud to present our 2nd solo exhibition of the secretive and mysterious Johannesburg artist known only as Veronika. Working in contrasting environments Veronika’s pieces can be spotted in busy urban streets and stumbled upon whilst out in tranquil nature.

Veronika’s latest body of studio work is inspired by his interest in graffiti, fashion, horses, sea creatures and UFO’s. All the pieces show a touch of a fine art hand and at the same time the flare and freshness of the street culture scene.

Please join us for a truly original art experience at Grayscale Gallery on the 7th of August 2014 at 6pm.

33 De Korte Street, Braamfontein, 2nd floor, above Signarama.
Safe parking in De Korte and Henri Streets.
Gas heaters to keep you warm.

>> MORE INFO

EVENT \\ Sprite Uncontainable 2014 Finals

The 2014 Sprite Uncontainable Hip Hop Festival takes place this weekend, August 2nd, at Zone 6 Venue, Soweto. Check out the finalists in graffiti, MC’ing and hip-hop dance battling it out.

Venue:
Zone 6 Venue. Warehouse 28, Black Chain Centre, Diepkloof 1862

Tickets:
Pre-sold: R80 | Door: R100

Line-Up:
• Pharoahe Monch (International)
• Jean Grae (International)
• Vardz (DJ)
• Mr X (DJ)
• Zakes (DJ)
• P-Kuttah (DJ)
• Revivolution (Live)
• Maggz (Live)
• Reason (Live)
• Tumi (Live)
• Vigilante ( DJ)
A.I.( Dance crew)
• Demolition Squad (Dance)

What to expect:
• Uncontainable skate demo’s by the best in the best My Culture and DC skaters.
• Enjoy your day, playing some of the best NBA Play Station games at our Play Station stand
• Battle Station – Pull in, show us what you got, we’re setting up a station dedicated to the battle! Challenge your friends to an old school dance or rap duel and stand a chance to win prizes
NBA hall of Fame – Learn about the NBA’s classic heroes in an exciting and never before seen way.
NBA Skills challenge – show us what you got and the NBA slam dunk team will show you what they got!
• Photo booth – we’re giving you the opportunity to be the B-Ball player, rap artist, dancer or graf artist of your dreams.
• Slick Station – Pop by the station where all you lovely ladies can get your hair did and your nails done, like a real hip hop queen! Gents, stop by and get a neck tattoo (Fake tattoo) like Lil Weezy.
• Base Station - Charge your phones, free of charge, because we care about keeping connected.
• Pop Up Store – Stylagang
• B-Ball Vending Machine – Show us your skills, and win awesome Sprite merch.

More info on the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/503091203155351/

>> There’s still time for you to vote @ www.spritehiphop.co.za

EVENT \\ Film Screening: Painting Cape Town

The Painting Cape Town documentary film will be screened during the 35th annual Durban International Film Festival next week:

SCREENING DATES:

  • 19 July (2:30pm – 4:13pm) @ Musgrave
  • 23 July (3:30pm – 5:15pm) @ Ekhaya
  • 26 July (9:30pm – 11:13pm) @ Musgrave

Watch the trailer HERE.

A look into the ever-evolving graffiti scene in Cape Town that focuses on the city’s elusive graffiti writers and how the scene has been affected by recent by-laws passed by the City of Cape Town. Painting Cape Town gets into the minds of the men behind the names that they take on, exploring the relationship between the city and the artists. Established figures within the subculture such as Falko and Wealz130 share their experiences of the consuming passion to paint the surfaces of the city.

Directed by: Katey Carson
South Africa
2014
23 min
Based on the book by Matthew Olckers

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Windows 0.2

The Windows exhibition returns, this time in Johannesburg:

Showcasing new paintings, drawings, mixed media collage, silkscreen prints and zines by Love & Hate (Black Koki & Ello) and Jean De Wet All done in collaboration over the past 3 years in projects ‘Time.time.time’ and ‘Windows 1’.

Continuing where they left off from last years ‘Mixed Emotions’ group show at the Kalashnikovv, Love and Hate return with a more focused approach on their own rapidly evolving practice. Continuing with blurring of lines between fine art, street art and illustration.

Definitely not one to be missed!

Drinks kindly sponsored by Grolsch.

10 July 2014, 6.30 pm
Kalashnikovv Gallery
153 Smit Street, Braamfontein (JHB)

Follow this ongoing collaborative project on Tumblr HERE

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

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Overload - Jade Doreen Waller Solo Exhibition in London

Jade Doreen Waller, an innovative young artist from Cape Town, is creating a stir in the interdisciplinary visual art industry with her unique approach to Urban Contemporary art. Waller has just been invited for a solo exhibition at cutting edge Urban gallery, Graffik, in Notting Hill, London. This will be her first international solo exhibition. Her work was first shown in a group exhibition at 34 Fine Art Gallery in 2010 and created quite a buzz. For the upcoming exhibition – Overload - the artist created an entire new body of work that shows off her creativity and skill. Waller’s concepts are deeply rooted in Urban Contemporary subculture, evident in the multiple layers of images in her work.

The works are symptomatic of an information overload. Her paintings present bundles of tightly packed regurgitated symbols, which purge and scream the plethora of scattered thoughts that dart around Waller’s brain during an engagement with her canvas. Her allegories, a glimpse into Waller’s world, are superbly realised with meticulous detail, reminiscent of Dutch and Flemish styles, making her work inescapably alluring. The scenes of Waller’s works show a bizarre juxtaposition of objects in unexpected arrangements; their realist execution with their sugared-up yet metallic use of colour all work to create artworks that speak to the discourse of Pop Surrealism, in which young artists use traditional methods in contemporary ways.

Whilst being mesmerized by the sumptuousness of her paintwork, the onlooker is met with image clusters of a constipated consumerist culture about to explode. Trapped inside Waller’s brain, by way of her paintings, one feels assaulted by the densely packed meteorites of urban street culture. Like a virus inhabiting her mind, it’s easy to feel contaminated by her corrupt organisms. Within the infected galaxies of her daydreams, Waller’s conglomerates of toys, pills, food, body parts, cartoon icons, insects, bric-a-brac, games and accessories become suspended between the beginning and the end of creation. While her paintings capture a private cerebral conversation, they offer a crystal clear reflection of the transient and accumulative symbols of our urban existence.

Waller’s ability to innovatively manipulate and combine contrasting images offers a lucid insight into how she interprets and perceives her surrounding reality.

The exhibition opens on 24 July and runs until 7 August.

Graffik Gallery
284 Portobello Road, London
Tel: 020 8354 3592
art@graffikgallery.com

>> READ OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH JADE HERE

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Paper Is You II

An exclusively paper-based exhibition, which celebrates the diversity and richness of paper as artistic medium.
Featuring works by Katrin Coetzer, Paul Senyol, Kirsten Sims, Andrzej Urbanski, Gabrielle Raaff & Berry Meyer.

Opening on Wednesday 25 June, 6:30 pm
Runs from 25 June to 19 July 2014

Salon91 Contemporary Art Collection
91 Kloof Street, Cape Town

*There will also be a public drawing event taking place at Salon91 on the 19th of July, held in conjunction with PIY II & 1000drawingsct.co.za

>> MORE INFO

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Styles From The Streets

A graffiti and street art exhibition taking place this Thursday, followed by the Montana ‘Just Writing My Name’ graffiti jam over the weekend.

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.

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

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/

AFRICA \\ Festigraff 5 - Graffiti Art Festival in Senegal, 2014

Festigraff is a festival of artistic experimentation - an exhibition of paintings, graffiti and pictures, as well as workshops and lectures. It seeks to strengthen the capacity of African graffiti, and bring them through exchanges with artists from around the world, a reflection on media and alternatives, techniques specific to an “African School” graffiti.

>> READ MORE

Keep reading →

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Mindgame - Prefix66 & Ariel23

Teaming up after a graffiti painting trip to United Arab Emirates, Rizah Potgieter aka Prefix66 (CPT) and Amo aka Ariel23 (JHB), have collaborated on some artworks for a mind blowing exhibition in Cape Town:

>> MORE INFO

EVENT \\ Converse Clash Wall

The basic concept of the Clash Wall is simple:
“Tweet your creative ideas to a standby graffiti artist to turn your digital idea into a graffiti reality.”

Here’s what went down at the wall in Cape Town last month, with artists Skubalisto and Migo…

Converse - Clashwall from Shoestring Productions on Vimeo.

The Jo’burg clash is going to be even more epic as Rasty will take on an 53m wall wall in Braamfontein on 28 & 29 March. The wall is at South Point, corner of Melle and Jorissen streets. Remember that your ideas can become a reality - Tweet any word or idea with the hashtags #ClashWall #JHB, and follow @Converse_Africa to keep up with the progress. This is gonna rock!

EVENT \\ Exhibition: AKA Graffiti and Street Art Group Show, Round 2

Following the success of the 2013 graffiti and street art group show, Two By Two Art Studio presents Round Two of the AKA Exhibition.

Artists from Johannesburg and Cape Town have contributed artworks for the show, including: Alphabet Zoo, Anser, Anwar (CT), Bias, Erar, Fily, Fin, Fiya, Kefoner, Lean, Loveleigh (CT), Mars, Miss Propa, Rayaan Cassiem (CT), Rype, Ryza, Shur (CT), Tapz, Toe (CT), Zesta and many more to be confirmed…

Please join us for a drink at Two By Two Art Studio in Newtown on Thursday 27 March 2014, from 6pm. The artworks will be on display for one month. The exhibition is open to all and there is no cover charge.

There will be a 90 minute tour arranged on the evening to view the Newtown graffiti art, created by many of the contributing artists. Booking is limited and the cost is R110 per person for the tour which begins at 5:30pm.

>> MORE INFO

Find out more about Two By Two Art Studio HERE.

FEATURED GALLERY \\ Two By Two Art Studio

Two By Two Art Studio in Newtown, Johannesburg is a diverse space with a whole lot of exciting events coming up in the next few weeks.

This Friday, they host the launch of the new clothing range by SA Hip Hop brand Butan Wear in collaboration with graffiti crew Demolition Squad, followed by the second installment of the graffiti and street art group show, AKA. Then, in April, two young illustrators, Rayaan Cassiem (Cape Town) and Nic Hooper (Johannesburg), join forces for their exhibition, Media Monster.

We spoke to Juliet and Tanner about their studio to find out more…

Tell me about your gallery.

Two By Two Art Studio is a multi-functional project space. We use it as a base to work from, but also host monthly exhibition openings and various events.

What made you want to open an art gallery?

The gallery is a labour of love. We use it to show the kind of art we would like to see. Coming out of art school in 2006, there weren’t really many places for young artists to exhibit. Instead of fighting over the same piece of pie we decided to make our own.

Where does the name Two By Two come from?

Tanner opened an arts supplies shop in Linden, just over 3 years ago. He used the name Two By Two as a personal tribute to his father, who initiated the idea many years ago. The art shop was Tanner’s creative interpretation of this.

What kind of art do you showcase?

The exhibitions are mostly graffiti and street art influenced, although the gallery space has been used for performance installations and fine art exhibitions too.

After hosting a few graffiti art exhibits, including the first AKA group show and Mars’ solo show, what do you think about graffiti stepping out of the streets and into a white wall gallery?

We don’t see graffiti stepping off the streets and into a white-walled gallery. Graffiti belongs on the streets. We are showing the artists that are involved in making that art. They are the ones who are tackling those issues for themselves. For each artist it’s a personal transition, for example Mars was very careful in how he chose to show himself as a studio artist. The process was very different for him, as it would be for anyone used to painting walls. As soon as the scale and format changes, the image is influenced and it becomes an object in its own right regardless of its origin.

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

There’s a lot of positive growth and opportunities in the arts if you’re willing to make it happen. Being able to survive off our talents and skills is a big thing for artists and while it’s tough territory, it is still possible. We live in interesting times and we look forward to seeing people being more creative for the sake of creativity. The local art community is small but not completely saturated. As far as we see it, there’s still lots of room to grow.

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

We have Back To The City festival happening on 27 April, Freedom Day. The annual graffiti competition takes place around the Newtown highway pillars. We’re really excited about seeing what people come up with this year. There are plenty of upcoming exhibitions after that. The best place to keep up with current events is on the Facebook page.

Find out more about their upcoming events:

http://www.twobytwo.co.za/

EVENT \\ Exhibition: Crossroad

Germany and South Africa cross paths as Dee One from Bremen and Roger Williams from Cape Town collaborate in a cross-media exhibition of their work. The two artists meet for the first time in Cape Town as they present their work at the Black Box Gallery, followed by the official VIP dinner and after-event at True Italic art cafe, with performances by DJ Azuhl, DJ Phax Mulder and VJ State of the Art. Opening night is on 3 April 2014 at the Black Box Gallery, 52 Church Street, Cape Town, at 17:30.

CROSSROAD EXHIBITION CAPE TOWN 2014 from RogKreativ on Vimeo.

>> More info at www.crossroad2014.org

EVENT \\ Butan x Demolition Squad: High Above The Toys

The launch of the latest range of clothing by Butan Wear SA in collaboration with the Demolition Squad.

Maneuvering through the precarious streets of Johannesburg one can’t help but notice a particularly emphasised name: DEMOLITION SQUAD. Established in 1999, DS has undoubtedly become one of the most prolific graffiti crews in South Africa. The crew consists of five artists; TAPZ, MARS, TYKE, FIYA and AYBE, who have been flying the flag “high above the toys” since its inception. This garment was created by fusing street level graffiti knowledge with cutting edge street wear design, resulting in a piece of art that reflects not only our collective passion for street culture, but offers a unique perspective of our world through the eyes of our generation.”

Limited edition clothing including caps and T-shirts will be on sale on the evening. Get yours before they hit the shops.

>> MORE INFO

EVENT \\ Westridge Park Jam

Graffiti jam taking place this weekend in the mecca of the South African hip hop and graffiti culture; Westridge, Mitchells Plain. Get at Prefix66 for a spot.

PICS \\ Ekon Tribute Jam, Cape Town

Last Sunday, at upper Searle Street Park, a tribute jam was held in memory of Cape Town writer Ekon. Many showed up and writers painted pieces to pay their respects.

Photos by Klaus Warschkow

(Click ‘next’ in the top right corner to navigate through the gallery)

Pieces by:
Boss, Ight, Laser, (Unknown), Boeta, Cade, Motel7, Smet, Spot, Nard, Mace, Conform, Cale, Wealz130 & Tag4 & Mad2, Dino & Senor, Boda, Ish, Pastelheart, Rack Star, DrOne, Shade, Khosa, Cros, Kem, Fers, Lamb, Acre, Lie & Odd1, Logikill Paradox, Dfeat once, Love, Rekt, Krem, Sure, Toe, Ekse, Losr, Nest, Ariel23 & Prefix66, Caso & Migo, Stok, Rusk, Blak, Sykoner.

+ More Ekons tribute pieces painted in the park prior to the jam:
Boss, Shade, Disk, Jmal, Pase, Sure, Falko, Khosa, Idiots Crew.

Mak1one:

Name:

Other writers in Durban and Johannesburg also attributed to the memory of this great artist.