Street Sm(Art)

Forbes Woman Africa
Published 8 years ago
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You can speak volumes without saying a word. It’s true of artist Faith47 whose murals in unexpected urban landscapes the world over shift conversations without a syllable being uttered.

The Cape Town artist has broken through the local art barrier with her murals like Taming of the Beast in Wuhan, China, to Rhapsody in New York and Capax Infiniti in Portland.

She has exhibited and worked around the globe including in Sweden, Miami, Montreal, Puerto Rico, Vienna, Malaga and in London where her most recent Aqua Regalia exhibition was held. The exhibition will be in Rome this year and the USA in 2016.

Her works jump out of walls, ethereal, dreamlike and intuitive. They’re also statements and mirrors on a world of potential, promise and also of failings, hubris and darkness.

She says: “It’s the feeling and reflection brewing under the surface, infiltrating my dreams and waking space. Dark energies, sad visions, ecstatic revelation, mythical aspirations…

“I don’t subscribe to the belief in good and evil; the complexities of our situation are so intricate. I stand in awe of the fact that we exist at all. Anything I create is just a speck of dust.”

Street art after all is surrender. Each piece must be released to the certainty of impermanence. It’s a canvas Faith47 likes precisely because it can’t be tamed or curated as she says: “When I die it’ll all disappear and paper will turn to dust.”

It’s why she doesn’t buy into the notion that public art or street art is cleaning up spaces. More like it adds layers and texture to contested urban spaces and places where one person’s ugly, grimy or nuisance can be someone else’s livelihood, home, heart and beauty.

“I reflect on these things but they’re not my main objective. I’m more interested in visions etched in stone that can possibly touch hearts,” she says.

It’s not whimsy or chance though that has made her a global success. She has maximised global networks, built connections and collaborated where she has felt the greatest resonance with her work.

“I find the world very networked and accessible, this was an intentional discovery. The Internet has a great way of creasing out annoying borders drawn on maps. Plus, I work harder than almost everyone I know,” she says.

Still street art has a mystique and anonymity. For Faith47, it’s “being anti the cult of celebrity”. It puts the artwork center stage and removes filters of nationality, class, race

and gender.

Faith47 reveals that she loves pine nuts and Murakami. She’s a mom and is married to fellow street artist DALeast. More than this, her art speaks for her. As she says: “I investigate the wisdom of old. I don’t listen to things that don’t matter. I listen to the void.”

Related Topics: #Artist, #Exhibition, #Faith47, #February 2015, #Mystique.