A blank wall in the Standard Bank Open Innovation Lab in Rosebank has been transformed into a graffiti art installation by Mars, a celebrated Johannesburg-born graffiti artist, with students from the Design School Southern Africa (DSSA) as assistants. The graffiti installation visually represents the creativity and innovation that Standard Bank’s business incubator concept stands for.
This is in line with a growing trend to explore graffiti as a contemporary art form and to incorporate this in corporate interior designs.
Mars’ street and canvas art has garnered him the respect and admiration of the art world. Since he was introduced to the medium in 2004, Mars has built his work from street art to fine art. He is one of the four artists making up the celebrated Johannesburg based Demolition Crew graffiti squad.
During his recent workshop at the Standard Bank Open Innovation Lab, the DSSA Bordeaux campus students were given a real feel for the processes behind the history and production of graffiti art and to explore innovative concepts and entrepreneurship. They also learnt about the technical and theoretical aspects of graffiti art, which should add a new dimension to their own work as budding designers and artists.
The Graffiti Wall Workshop fits the DSSA’s ethos of balancing its students’ natural creative potential with industry preparedness through academic excellence and industry experience.
“The students are in great need of exposure and experience in the industry while still studying,” says Anet Sears, senior lecturer at DSSA. “Some lives and futures were definitely changed at this workshop.”
The success of the workshop could be seen in the excitement of the students, who felt that a whole new world of creativity had been opened up for them.
Viwe Majavu, who is completing a Higher Certificate in Art and Design at DSSA, adds that he learnt about the culture and attitude of graffiti and the history, which placed it in perspective for him. “This workshop inspired me to become a better designer and to appreciate the art of graffiti and what Mars does.”
Nomonde Mtetwa, a first year Graphic Design student, concurs: “When I become a great designer, artist and entrepreneur one day, I know that having been here, even for a day, will play a role in that.”
The Design School of Southern Africa (DSSA) is a brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), which is the country’s largest, most accredited provider of private education. The IIE is internationally accredited by the British Accreditation Council. DSSA focuses on delivering highly skilled students that graduate work-ready.