Giant, smiling Madiba for Joburg
Nelson Mandela is the subject of yet another public art project in Joburg. It’s a building-sized mural wrap on the southern edge of Braamfontein, an unmissable illustration that puts the former president’s warm smile in the same frame as the iconic bridge that is named after him.
The artist is the renowned American muralist and designer Shepard Fairey.
In conversation, the artist emphasises that his work is always “people oriented” with a political bent. A cult figure in street art, his body of work includes the gamechanging Obey concept that came to represent the Occupy Wall Street rebellion in the US in 2011.
Fairey also shaped the image of the Barack Obama 2008 election campaign. The Hope poster became the image of that time in American politics.