South Africa: Falko Fantastic - the Graffiti Artist Tearing Down the Walls of Reality

analysis

Artist Falko Fantastic has had to strip away the secrecy and carefully managed anonymity enmeshed in graffiti culture to turn street art into a viable career.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

Fantasy and reality are strange siblings - as different as ever but inescapably shaped from the exquisite opposite outline of the other.

Graffiti artist Falko Fantastic seeks out these seams - it may be the rooftop of a crumbling building, under a grimy highway or in a small town that's long been forgotten as faraway toll roads thunder with traffic. These are the places of collision but also where connections can be made.

It is in these spaces that Falko Fantastic may create one of his hallmark elephants. They are dreamlike illusions when you stumble on one or maybe a herd. They're unexpected, full colour, symbols of whimsy but also metaphors for compassion, community and play.

When the elephants form from his spray cans to live on a wall, they become his signature and his intention. It's leaving art where it can be claimed but not owned.

'Graceful' 2020 Riebeek Wes

The placement of art is also meant to shake up the measure of value,...

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