Three street artists – one South African, one Italian and one French – collaborated on a Salt River mural representing the three countries’ strong ties.
The mural on a wall in Addison Street also celebrated the unveiling, on Friday September 21, of the newly revamped Capago, a company handling visa applications for South Africans visiting Italy and France.
The mural is called Origin, and each artist worked on it from Monday to Friday last week, focusing on specific elements in the piece.
Silex Project, the French artist, painted a prehistoric fish; Or10n, from Italy, who specialises in painting letters of the alphabet, rendered the letters in the title of the work, and Mak1one, from Mitchell’s Plain, worked on the hands depicted in the piece.
Mak1one, who has 30 years of experience as a street artist, said he had learned a lot working with the Italian and French artists.
Coming from different backgrounds, they had had to communicate their ideas clearly to each other, he said.
The work is among 75 murals that have been painted in the Salt River area with the collaboration of Baz-Art, an NGO that runs public art tours.
Ward councillor Patrick Chapple said the work – done with the homeowner’s consent – carried a positive message.
“It is not only beautifying Salt River, the kids are learning a valuable lesson. It also assists with job creation in providing tours, and the neighbourhood watch is also active as they assist in the tour-guiding party,” he said.
The French ambassador to South Africa, Christophe Farnaud, said the street art was not only helping to promote the Salt River area but also doing its bit for international relations … between artists, at least.
“It’s a very strong signal; it firstly promotes the community, it promotes the place; it also promotes cooperation between, Italian, French and South African artists, which is really meaningful,” he said.
Italian Consulate agent Mariagrazia Duminuco said the collaboration might be the start of a trend.
Capago CEO Laurent Mallet said the street art job was a way to connect the three countries.