Tuesday, May 6, 2014

An Insiders Tour with Graffiti Artist Mars

Mars in Newtown

Past Experiences has been doing Graffiti tours for a few years now and my passion for graffiti has really grown (so much so, that I am now doing my Masters on Graffiti in Jozi). I realise that some people are anti-graffiti, but I think that graffiti adds so much to an area: colour, interest, creativity and art. For most, art is unfortunately a luxury, not a necessity, and I think that this is really true in the Inner City. Many people earn so little, they live in inadequate housing and basically life is incredibly difficult..no time for art when you are just trying to feed your kids. Although graffiti (and street art and public art) might not do anything to alleviate these situations, they do bring something to Inner City communities: colour and art (particularly Inner City kids). I also appreciate that graffiti artists interact (more than most) with marginalised communities and difficult areas, as this is often where graffiti can be found. And on its most simple…graffiti looks awesome.

The warmth and support of many of the graffiti artists towards the tours has been great and we really try to make our tours benefit them where possible.

We were suuuper lucky to have one of Jozi’s most talented graffiti artists Mars join us on a tour a few weeks ago. The tour focused on the graffiti in Newtown and it was really awesome to have the insiders’ view of what it is like to be a graffiti artist, info on the graffiti culture in Joburg…and so much more. Mars made us all think about graffiti in a different way, how in many ways it can be seen as a dialogue, between different writers, communicating through the walls of the city.
Mars explaining his work to some of his young fans

I also think it’s really cool, how Graffiti tours draw a crowd of people from many walks of life, different backgrounds and ages. We had parents, kids, teenagers and young professionals on the tour- all united by an interest and open mindedness for graffiti.
The message says it all

We got some rave reviews for this tour..and we hope to do many more similar experiences and tours with local artists in the future. If anyone is interested just drop us an email and we can definitely organise you something similar.