Joburg’s inner city is a vibrant district with a unique character that can easily claim to be the culture capital of the country. It has a wide range of unique and creative venues that include everything from museums and art exhibitions to stores of all kinds, food, fashion, music and everything in-between.
There’s just no doubt that if you want to really get to know a city with all its quirks and character the inner city is the place to go. From walking tours, bicycle tours and bus tours there are countless ways to explore the bustling everyday life of neighbourhoods like Braamfontein, Newtown, Maboneng, Ferreiras Dorp and surrounds. This month we’re focusing on street art in particular as these area’s surely have no shortage of amazing pieces on display. No matter how you chose to get around just be sure to add these stops to your street art tour itinerary.
Braamfontein as a whole is overflowing with beautifully intricate pieces boasting vivid designs and attention-grabbing colours and is also one of the first places to embrace street art as a form of gentrification. All the way from the Wits Art Museum to de Korte Street, some of the best graffiti can be found flanking the busy streets. In 2013 handfuls of artists came from Spain to make their mark on the suburb and contributed to the beautiful mural that can be found on under the bridge on Smit Street. It is also here that you’ll find pieces from renowned locals such as Falko, Kevin Love and Bias.
The Newtown Bridge is home to some of the most amazing graffiti and street art displays in town with works from both international artists and local creatives alike. On this wall, and surrounds, you’ll find work from the infamous Tapz who’s tags and illustrations can be seen scattered across random locations in Johannesburg. Other local artists who have made their mark on this iconic wall include industry expert and tattoo artist Rasty, Faith 47; who has also exhibited in New York; and Mars.
Maboneng has been a major gamechanger in shifting the general opinion of street art from being perceived as an eyesore to something locals just can’t get enough of. These murals and exhibits have become a main attraction and have played a major part in the upliftment of this area. Arts on Main in Maboneng is a prime example of this. The area boasts works by Falko, Kevin Love, and ROA from Belgium, who specialise in painting wildlife on the sides of skyscrapers.
While on your street art tour be sure to pop in for a drink at The Artivist, one of the trendiest new spots in town. It’s a celebration of all things creative, with chic grey walls that offset the art, soothing music that creates a unified bar atmosphere and the lingering aroma of ‘Afro-nomadic’ food.
7 Reserve Street, Braamfontein
011 339 1647
And don’t leave before popping into Swallows Inn in Ferreirasdorp for a visit to Joburg’s oldest Chinese restaurant where you’ll be greeted by old-school traditional ‘décor’ reminiscent of downtown Jozi in the 60s and 70s. Be sure to order the vegetable spring rolls.
6 Commissioner Street, Ferreirasdorp
011 838 2946