A few weeks ago, Acrylic Walls shared photos of their mural residency in South Africa, which includes artists Gaia, Freddy Sam, Jaz, and Know Hope. Local Freddy Sam has brought together international artists for, what I termed, a love letter to South Africa. However, sometimes love bites back.
One local took to Gaia‘s wall to voice his disapproval of the piece with not enough buff paint. Being an advocate for community and public space, Gaia used what some would view as heartbreaking into an opportunity to engage with the surrounding neighborhood. A hand erasing his Edwardian-animal hybrid has been accompanied by the phrase “revisionisme, uit te vee,” or “to erase revisionism” in Afrikaans. By commenting on the methodologies behind his piece, Gaia acknowledges the temporality of his work as well as its effects on those who, by their proximity to the piece, become forced viewers.
Photos Courtesy of Gaia
Beginning in late December of 2012 and stretching into the new year, Freddy Sam brought together a group of artists known for creating art that engages their surroundings. The project, titled Acrylic Walls, is associated with his organization A Word of Art, which has been fostering contemporary art in the area through community outreach since 2009. While this project has the familiar ring of other blockbuster mural programs, such as Open Walls Baltimore, Freddy Sam has added a component that hopes to reach a larger audience than those who will immediately come into contact with their murals: a diary-like Tumblr for all on which all of the artists can contribute.
The Tumblr for Acrylic Walls allows all of the participating artists to post photos from their adventures as they travel from city to city painting and engage themselves with their surroundings. Whether they are recounting adventures in stick and poke tattoos, museums, or sharing stories of people they encounter, each artist brings a dimensionality to not only themselves, but this program through their photography. By sharing funny moments alongside those of poverty and historicism, Acrylic Walls gives an intimate and insightful view of personalities of the artists as well as the cities where they find themselves.
More photos after the jump. Continue reading “Acrylic Walls: A Love Letter to South Africa”