A collaborative painting installation featuring two of Johannesburg’s most respected street artists. Painting in a wide variety of styles and mediums, these two prolific painters pay homage to the origins of “street art”. Blurring the boundaries between public and private spaces, as well as street art and contemporary fine art. This is one not to be missed.
70 Juta Str, Braamfontein, Jhb
6pm for 6:30pm
Thursday 9th of May 2013
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 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 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Support your local writer!
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.
“In 2010, the infamous RAMM:ΣLL: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.”
Features news, pics and event info to keep you updated with what is happening in the South African graffiti scene. Also featuring some international news.
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May 16th, 2013
May 15th, 2013
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April 26th, 2013
April 23rd, 2013