A painting I did in Troyeville last month.
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
A painting I did in Troyeville last month.
Friday, 11 November 2011
Meeting Mr. Makonga was an experience in inspiration, although I have no idea what he does with his days, it seems that every time I run into him, he has a pile of pens and a sketchbook fused to his fingers. And when you look at his drawings you begin to understand why. The subconscious world that our brains generally relegate to bouts of insanity or nightmares exists in an uneasy truce of consciousness in Mr Makonga’s mind. It bursts out of him via some channel straight from god that ends at the tip of his pen.
The world he is partially living in- Grime Town.
These strange quazi-human scavengers have taken their places at the heads of what appear to be organized and quietly violent gangs of mutant city animals, as protectors, as pimps, or as lords and masters.
The human inhabitants who live in corrugated iron shacks and communicate via fuck-off big eighties cell phones, have mysteriously adopted the fashion sense of Run DMC and flavor flav. The children borne of these human survival-machines, sport gas masks, spray paint, ketties and semi automatic bubble weapons, which they holster in their nappies. Cheeseboys and vandals, these hyper-mature babies of the Grime Town apocalypse must have been raised on an extraordinary diet.
All Images copyright Tumba Kevin Makonga
Words copyright Natalie Propa.
Thursday, 3 November 2011
Monday, 3 October 2011
We all know what we're doing to the planet, to ourselves and our future generations, but find it difficult to take positive action to improve the situation. Worse still, we constantly create little lies, recall myths and old wives tales to distract us from our guilt and silence our consciences. This image is my little reminder that those lies are useless, they will lead us nowhere but to our own misery.
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Friday, 2 September 2011
A series of portraits that talk about the underground heroes of Johannesburg's arts and culture society, the latest of which is one of the co-founder's of the Keleketla! Media Arts Project: Malose "4Matt" Malahlela. The other founder Rangoato Hlasane's portrait will be printed on the adjacent double page and will be uploaded in the coming week, so watch this space!
Friday, 26 August 2011
Thursday, 11 August 2011
Monday, 8 August 2011
We stand, scuffed, paint splattered All Stars and Nikes hanging over the edge of a vast dark hole in the concrete floor of Orlando West’s abandoned Power Station. The massive warehouse building lies alone in a field of reeds that fringe the bank of the dam, wind wailing through its empty window frames, like the waning bleached-out skeleton of a beached wale. Approaching the building from the road opposite the dam, there is a mysterious gloom shrouding this old bone yard. Smoky clouds streaked across the sky and mirrored in the dams’ murky waters lend an eerie forlorn air to its looming bulk. And then, as if blinking at you over a jagged mess of broken iron teeth, shine two huge white PVA tags- Marz and Tapz have given the building eyes.
As you get closer you experience a mixture of awe and raw joy. There’s a buzz in the air that originates in the pure silence punctuated by bird’s wings flapping and the echoes of your footsteps. The building is a layer cake of stories of desolate open industrial space, broken by massive holes in each floor lending you an eye into the graves of the machinery that once gave this place a pulse. These holes run along the floor in varying sizes making any rash movements a hazardous mistake. But it is not until you have climbed into the top floor, its walls wrapped with shattered, empty windows, sunlight flooding the huge pigeon-shit encrusted floor, that you truly understand this building’s mourning. You’ll contract six chronic strains of the Ebola virus up in that loft, but it’s worth it just to stand that high in the sky, inside a building, feeling the wind blasting past you.
The old crumbling walls are canvas to the expression of some of South Africa’s graffiti legends. It is not the typically tagged-to-hell scene that characterizes the old infrastructure of gang-land-crack-dens in American drug movies, No, it is a veritable museum of beautifully executed artworks. A friend of mine once described the smell of Montana spray paint as “a nose orgasm”, and standing in this informal gallery of guerilla youth expression one can sense, quite tangibly, the ecstasy involved in the act of painting. Incredibly considered and composed pieces by Faith Forty Seven, Hac one, Mac One and Bias subtly alter the massive concrete and steel structures. Like history’s rock art collectors who removed rock faces from caves in order to “preserve “ the art of our ancestors, graffiti historians, collectors and enthusiasts might be tempted to enter into mad bidding wars for pieces of wall removed from this building.
Closed to the public, (and protected by guards) the majority of the graffiti was done in 2007 as part of Red Bull’s Soweto Sessions, specifically the Red Bull BC One event. Today the power station is used for film and television shoots and various other events, but for the majority of its days, it stands empty with only the screams of tourist’s bungee jumping from the adjacent Orlando Towers echoing through it’s dark spaces. Not only an abandoned fossil of a past regime, the power station is one of very few physical records of the urban youth culture that evolved from confusing identity soup of the rubble of Apartheid, encroaching American cultural colonialism, and the freedom of participating in a non-racial society.
(text: Natalie Propa, Images: Cale Waddacor)
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Monday, 1 August 2011
Sunday, 31 July 2011
Friday, 29 July 2011
On February 24th 2011 we Opened the "Vandal Lie Izm" exhibition, a show inspired by Johannesburg’s underground hip hop culture comprised of graffiti, street and public art as well as photographs that document the culture, in many of its diverse aspects. As I have long been involved in graffiti, I was able to gain access to some of the major figures in the Hip Hop scene, and curate a show that brought together a myriad of rival crews and individual artists. The show was designed as a platform for the exposure of young, emerging artists, whose work in the streets is generally regarded as something of an enigma- who are these people? Why do they create public art, or vandalize government property? The exhibition was held in downtown Johannesburg at the drill hall, opposite the Noord street taxi rank, in order to properly contextualize the work and expose the heart of our movement to people to whom the scene is somewhat alien. The e-zine "Articulate" wrote a feature on the last show in their first issue, download the PDF and get some insight on Jozi's Street culture.
The second installment of the show will take place In mid- October 2011 and this time we hope to raise funds to generate assets and capital that will allow us to set up a printmaking studio at the Drill Hall's Keleketla! Library.
Here's what Kyle Ferguson managed to capture of the event and cut together with some Qwel for Extra Flava.
Monday, 4 July 2011
Keleketla! Library was involved in a Media arts project at the Substation Wits University. The Project was called Nonwane: Passages, Tempo's and Spectacular ways of Dying and was centered around three major texts: Phaswane Mphe's Welcome to Our Hillbrow; Kabelo Sello Duiker's writing generally and the music of the late Moses Taiwa Molelekwa.
Thursday, 30 June 2011
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
I got out of bed on the wrong side, and the heinous sleep hangover had left these characters lingering in my consciousness- I took some Paper clay and tooth-pics and brought them out into the real world...