Painting Cape Town: Graffiti from South Africa provides the reader with an insider view into the graffiti subculture in this well-known South African city. The book includes interviews with 29 of Cape Town’s most prominent graffiti artists. Each story provides a unique insight into the rationale behind the artist’s passion and obsession for spreading their names. The history of the graffiti scene is traced from its beginnings on the Cape Flats in the 1980s and its roots within hip hop culture to the current graffiti scene polarised by contempt and praise. Painting Cape Town is the first publication of its kind and the reference text on the subject. The text is coupled with over 150 full colour illustrations.
The author of the book, Matthew Olckers, started photographing Cape Town graffiti in 2007. He shared his photographs on a blog named Painting The Town. Through the blog he was able to make contact with graffiti artists in the city. During 2010, PaintingTheTown became inactive and Matthew focused full time on producing this book. In light of the increasing popularity of graffiti (and its close cousin Street Art) the aim of Painting Cape Town is to recognise the graffiti artists who have made an impact on the surfaces of the city though the quantity and quality of their work. The book gives you a chance to get inside the minds of the key figures in this misunderstood subculture.
Painting Cape Town is published by Shelflife and printed in Woodstock, Cape Town.