Falko One [Africa – Cape Town]


We would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to have this interview with you, all the way from CAPE-TOWN!

Shall we start?

When did it all begin? And how did you first become interested in Murals & Street Art?

I used a spray can for the first time to write my name on 23 December 1988. I was just black with a big bubble letter saying Supersonic (I don’t have a picture of this). I was always the kid that draw- but in my society art and drawing never had any value- so I didn’t think much of it. I just drew for fun. When I was 16 a guy by the name of Jamo (a pioneer of South African hip hop) asked me to join the Universal Zulu Nation as a Graff writer. He then showed me Spraycan Art and Subway Art…and that is how!

Which artist/s influenced you?

From the first time I saw Spraycan Art- I was and is Mode2 and Bando. I like Skki, Jon156, Lokiss. Then there was the Australian dudes Boesta and Broke. They influenced me through their Graff mag they made called HYPE MAG

What style is your work?

Not sure what to say… but someone once said it’s like almost realism with fantasy. Over the years my technique has changed – just out of curiosity- but I always like the more expressive styles.

Are there any particular cultures that have influence your artwork?

Not really, but I do look at indigenous patterns and animals we have here in South Africa. When I was younger, I’m sure like most people in street culture my influence was hip hop.

What is the source of your inspiration these days?

I really like roosters, chickens and elephants…

What do your pieces usually focus on?

I like to say something about society but I like it to be vague.

What is the riskiest thing you have ever done?

Not taking a deposit for a commissioned artwork.

Are you generally satisfied with your finished piece?

I think most people when they go home and look at the pic or lay awake after wards think `fuck, I could`ve add more detail here` or `I should`ve added another color` …its not a good thing to be satisfied.

Do you listen to music while working? Or you need a quite environment?

I don’t like listening to rap music…I find it too repetitive. Yes, I prefer music…my playlist for now is music from The Shins, Edward Sharpe, Ages and Ages.

Where your work is usually located?

I travel my country, South Africa, a lot. I like the rural areas. Places where the people appreciate it because it’s someone came out of their way to paint their house. I prefer the townships…

Do you find it difficult to do your work in the streets?

In Cape Town, that will depend on where you area( like I’m sure most cities are around the world) .sometimes the ghetto areas are good because the people don’t mind the art- but then it’s very stressful because you must watch your shit and your back. It also depends on what I’m painting…South Africa is still very conservative with `freedom of expression` even though it’s one of our main principles.

Do you have a formal art education?

I studied graphic design for 2 years. It was a 3 year course…

If YES! Do you feel that you benefited from it?

I only learned the ad agency language.

Would you rather paint alone? Or do you prefer collaborate with others?

I once had a crew called THE VILLAINOUS ANIMATORS. But life happened to most of them so the crew I just basically me…its always more fun when you learning and exploring to be with others who are on the same journey but I think it’s good when you can stand on your own and make your own voice heard. So at this stage I’m rolling alone.

Have you every collaborated with other artists?

Yes, too many to mention.

Any country in Middle East region you would like to go to and do piece / or collaboration maybe?

I would like to go anywhere. Egypt yes! Turkey yes!

What do you see as the future of Murals / street art / graffiti?

Who would`ve imagined that murals, graffiti and street art would be this big. This mainstream. This commercial…it’s great! But like with all that goes commercial – it is a bubble that will burst. And it will make way for the new `fashionable`. Muralism will definitely evolve, like from where it was in the 1980`s to the conceptual graffiti of the 90`s (this era for me laid the foundation for the muralists today) and then the growth of street art in the 2000`s…who knows what it will be. But I can safely say the pioneer is out there and it’s happening now.

How do you feel about photographers / bloggers in the scene?

They are natural branch of growth and evolution. But I hate those fu*^ers that care more about getting their pic on social media before everyone else – without making the effort of crediting the artist.

Thank you so much Falko for this interview and definitely we will be doing more interview for 2015!