Maaaaan graffiti sucks so much. It's the one word I always manage to mess up, chucking in a pair of Ts and a single F or even double of both. I've just invented a way to remember now, it's a single T and double F, which I shall now retrain my brain to remember as Fucking Fabulous, just like the art spotted at the Graffitiville launch. Graffiti, proper artistic graffiti, makes my eyeballs happy. Even if there's some or other political or social comment that I may or may not agree with, it's all about the artwork to me, and marvelling at how what you see in front of you is actually physically possible. SA is full of amazing artists plying their skills to various walls and structures, both legally and illegally. To launch the Graffitiville brand and platform, the chosen venue was the Daville Baillie Gallery at Victoria Yards in Lorentzville, Johannesburg. This is one of those places that must be visited, it's packed with awesomeness and some amazing art concerns, and you'll likely return home with some artwork you didn't know you needed.
When launching something like this, it makes sense to have some industry players in attendance and guests were treated to the artworks of local top graffiti artists such as Drake, Falko, Jade Doreen Waller, Mook Lion, Mr. Bzar. Mr. Eksê, Nomad, Pen29, Plank, Wayne Bks and a chap I've met previously for a few pics, That Damn Vandal. As to what Graffitiville is, well it's owned and run by Tanya Boshoff and Sharlene Labuschagne, it's a passion project founded by the love of colour, art, beautiful things, creativity as well as the distinctiveness embodied in graffiti art. Graffitiville aims to create a platform where graffiti art is celebrated, and where new and existing artists get to showcase their work both locally and internationally. It also acts as a gateway to the artists’ own social media platforms giving them more exposure.
Included in the event festivities was a unique experience where models Caitlin Labuschagne, Tinesse Verwey, Sam Shaer, Laurette Marais, Mbali Msimang, Wynand van Volenstee and Reggie Peace were dressed in designer outfits made by Heidi Bothma, owner of Hollywood Costumes and Heidi Couture. Assisting Heidi was Leone Smit and Nikita de Beer. The clothes worn by the models were painted by the artists, live in front of our eyeballs. The artists literally sprayed the clothing on the models while on the “catwalk”, and seeing the little bursts of paint from the spray cans turn into legit works of art was brilliant to watch. We also had the chance to tag (that's the lingo, yo) sections of a rat-rodded Beetle that artist That Damn Vandal was commissioned to add his unique flavour to.
Tanya and Sharlene have taken great care in choosing quality products to match the high quality of the art seen through Graffitiville eyes, each item is created with both love and precision to ensure the client is fully satisfied with the final art piece. The duo have also appointed some members of their local community; Maude Marekeba and her son Gerald to manufacture some of the products for them. Local FTMFW! Graffitiville also intends to make graffiti present in our everyday lives by taking it off the walls and making it a part of personal spaces and style - giving graffiti art fanatics the opportunity to own a unique (1 of 1) art piece from one of the top graffiti artists in SA. They'll have an online store (website and Instagram) where these unique, original pieces can be purchased. They currently have scatter cushions and sling bags to offer, and other products are in production (see gallery below). There are also already plans to expand the brand’s offering to other items in the future with designers already onboard to assist the process. This is just the beginning of a 5-year plan, so keep Graffitiville on your radar and follow them on Instagram, Facebook or YouTube. If you need more direct access, the ladies can be contacted on 082 856-6507 (Tanya) or 081 810-9432 (Sharlene).
Graffitiville - Daville Baillie Gallery - Victoria Yards