The Most Notable Street Art in Johannesburg
Close up of Faith 47's "Una salus victis nullam sperare salutem" |© Adamina / Flickr
Johannesburg’s street art scene is on the rise as more and more artists, both local and international, are flocking to the city to color the streets. Here’s where to spot the best of the bunch.
Johannesburg’s inner city is filled with striking pieces commenting on the social and cultural zeitgeist and metropolitan areas, such as the Maboneng precinct, Jeppestown, and Newtown, are being transformed through the introduction of trendy cafés, restaurants, art galleries and, of course, street art.
Street art has long been a contentious topic in South Africa but recently artists, like ABOVE, travel from abroad to make their mark on the city’s walls, while local artists are gaining more and more recognition. Corporate companies are also injecting large sums of cash into the gentrification of Johannesburg’s inner city and supporting street artists by doing so.
Mural by Karabo Poppy Moletsane
See it at the Eyethu Cinema, 649 Machaba Drive, Mofolo Central, Soweto.
Karabo Poppy Moletsane is an award winning illustrator, designer, and street artist |Taken as part of Nando’s Street Art Stories series
Graffiti by American street artist Pose
See it in De Korte Street, Braamfontein.
A Pop Art-inspired mural |Taken as part of Nando’s Street Art Stories series
“Una salus victis nullam sperare salutem” by Faith 47
See it at the Johannesburg CBD Bus Stop, Von Wielligh Street.
Faith 47, a world-renowned female artist from South Africa, has held solo exhibitions in New York, London, and Johannesburg |© Marturin Le Goff / Flickr
“Family Time” by Falko 1
Find the mural in Newtown.
Falko started out in the Cape Flats and has toured Sweden, Germany, France, and more |Courtesy of Past Experiences
“Incognito” by ABOVE and “Big Heart” by Falko 1
See it from Bjala Square, Jeppestown.
This is one of Berlin-based artist ABOVE’s largest murals |© Carina Claassens
“Betty Fox” by Falko
Find it on the Betty Fox warehouse, Betty Street, Maboneng.
Falko has worked on campaigns for brands such as Adidas and MTV, and was responsible for the backdrop for Nelson Mandela’s 79th birthday |© Adamina / Flickr
Jan van Riebeeck mural, a collaboration between America’s Gaia and Cape Town-based Freddy Sam
See it in front of The Cosmopolitan, 24 Albrecht Street, Maboneng.
Freddy’s (AKA Ricky) murals can be seen all over the world, from New York to Istanbul and Madagascar to Kathmandu |© Mathurin Le Goff / Flickr
“Now and Then” by Acrylic Walls
Find it at 264 Fox Street, Maboneng.
This piece is a collaboration between KNOW HOPE (Tel Aviv), Gaia (New York), Franco JAZ Fasoli (Buenos Aires), and Freddy Sam (South Africa), known collectively as Acrylic Walls |© Adamina / Flickr
Street art in Maboneng
Maboneng is a cultural hub with street art covering walls and buildings around almost every corner of the neighbourhood
Courtesy of Nando's
The local public is becoming increasingly more interested in street art and numerous tours focus solely on the city’s public art. Gummie Tours have a street art bike ride through Maboneng and Past Experiences have a range of different inner city tours. This is the best way to find and see all the city has to offer—and there’s much of it.
Nando’s launched Street Art Stories: Jo’burg, a film that documents the rise of South African street art. The short film depicts how activism and events during apartheid struggles shaped the rise of Johannesburg’s street art movement.