Introducing South Africa's first major graffiti book

2015-02-17 12:37

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The medium is the message: A 2010 piece by Faith47 in Cape Town

You may hate the sight of graffiti on walls or bridges, but now you can admire it in a coffee table book.

Photographer Cale Waddacor has produced the first expansive collection of local graffiti in his new book Graffiti South Africa.

“From underground tunnels and abandoned buildings to train yards and townships, local writers – each with a distinct signature style – spread their work across the nation.

“Now, for the first time ever, the global spotlight can fall on these talented artists,” explains Waddacor in the synopsis.

The book builds on a successful website of the same name and features a wide range of artwork and interviews from some of the biggest names in graffiti and street art.

Taxi to nowhere: Dreadr created this piece, Empty in 2009 in Johannesburg.
Picture: Cale Waddacor

Well-established artists such as Gogga, Faith47 and Mak1one are featured alongside newcomers, including Pastel, Rasty and Myza420.

“Graffiti is graffiti: it’s wild, but with basic style and technique.

“It is its own subculture,” explains Gogga in the book.

Graffiti South Africa features commentary from Martha Cooper, the godmother of graffiti and author of the seminal New York anthology Subway Art, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2009.

“I know how much work it takes to put together such a comprehensive study.

“[Waddacor’s] beautiful book will preserve South African graffiti for future generations worldwide,” she says in the foreword.

The book has already been launched in Cape Town.

The Johannesburg launch will take place between February 26 and 28 at the Kalashnikovv Gallery in the city centre.

The launch will include an exhibition, street art tours and a live graffiti-painting session.

The launch tour ends in Durban at the Open Plan Studio on March 28.

TALK TO US: Do you like graffiti or think it should be banned from walls? Let us know in the comments below.

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