Graffiti artist jets to NYC

2012-10-19 14:12

It’s undoubtedly better than a VIP seat or even going backstage to meet and greet your favourite musician.

Durban’s rising graffiti artist is among three hip-hop lovers afforded the rare opportunity to be in the company of internationally acclaimed rappers for a week.

Dane Knudsen (25) is jetting off to New York City tomorrow. He and two others won their respective categories at the 2012 Sprite Uncontainable Hip-Hop Talent Search.

Legendary American rapper Talib Kweli partnered with Sprite in search of hip-hop talent in South Africa earlier in the year.

While Knudsen was the champ in graffiti, the others won the emcee and dance categories.

They are expected to get one-on-one mentorship from Kweli.

“I’m excited about winning. It has given me an unbelievable opportunity and a chance to see NYC,” he told City Press.

Entering the competition, Knudsen didn’t even know what was at stake.

He received an SMS from a friend the night before telling him about the competition the next day. He merely entered for “the love of it”.

“Winning is always nice but more than anything I love being in the company of other graffiti artists. Unlike the other categories, there is no “dissing” for points. I get my wall and they get theirs and we get to have a good time doing what we thoroughly enjoy,” adds Knudsen.

Not surprisingly, his introduction to graffiti was much the same. It was through a friend when he was about 13.

“I like trying out new things. As with a lot of things, I need that first bit of interest before something grows on me,” he says.

“It is always assumed that you have to do certain things for it to be considered graffiti and I think had it not been for studying, I would have worked along that grain. I don’t think I would have grown as quickly as I have,” he adds.

While Knudsen admits organisers have been mum on details, what is clear is that surprise tours are planned to the five boroughs of New York – the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island.

“More than anything, I plan to use this opportunity to make contacts as a result of winning this competition.”

Knudsen is the son of Steve Fataar, a member of the 1960s boy band of The Flame. He is doing his master’s in graphic design.

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