Hypebeast Africa x Samsung Culture Scouts: “City of Art”

Capturing unique works of art on their daily routes.

Art 
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Fresh back from the New Year, the Hypebeast Africa Culture Scouts take to their local areas to capture the unique street art that brightens up their commute and brings character to their cities.

Shot using Samsung’s S23 Ultra, the final brief spotlights murals, sculptures, and landmarks that keep their communities youthful and vibrant. From Johannesburg’s graffiti-clad Newton Bridge to iconic artist Esther Mahlangu’s mural gracing the front of the National Museum — diverse artistic freedom defines the streets of South Africa.

Check out the images from the Scouts’ brief below.

Hypebeast: How prominent is art in your city?

Day Marumo: In Johannesburg, art is a big part of our identity and brings our city to life with color and stories. It shows how imaginative we are. Our city’s art will always be a beautiful reminder of our creativity and the many voices of our people.

What did you capture for this brief?

I explored three towns: Braamfontein, Newtown, and Maboneng to document the different art styles around the city. Each artist I encountered brought their unique perspective and technique to their portraits, reflecting the rich tapestry of the city.

How does the city’s art inspire you?

The city is like a large art gallery with cool murals covering the streets. From paintings of historical figures, cultural symbols, and everyday life scenes, I’m drawn to the styles that authentically capture the spirit of people in the city.

I skate near the murals so it means a lot, and as an artist interested in portraits, seeing the various styles in Johannesburg is truly inspiring and has given me a deeper appreciation for the art that surrounds us.

Hypebeast: What did you capture for this brief?

Teboho Hlatshwayo: The images I’ve shot are documentation of the richness Johannesburg possesses in street art. Newtown is home to SA’s largest hip-hop music festival, and every year hundreds of graffiti artists come out to paint the beams under the Newtown bridge. For a 1km stretch, you can drive by some of the most beautiful murals you’ve ever seen.

Why do you think its inspiration resonates with you and your community?

The one thing I love the most about hip-hop is that it provides all people with multiple points of entry into the community. It gives way to channel self-expression and gives direction to those who feel lost. You don’t have to be good at one specific thing to participate and contribute to the culture, if you’re good at speaking you can take up rap, if you’re into physical activity you can dance, and if you’re any good at drawing/painting you can get into graffiti — which is one art form you can find anywhere and anytime.

What draws you to street art in particular?

Graffiti is interesting in that it’s one of the few practices where the artists don’t want to be famous (mostly because vandalism is illegal and people consider painting walls as vandalism). The artists seem more focused on making the world a little more interesting with their signature tags/throw-ups. Honestly, it provides a much-needed intermission from the dull views of cement and steel.

Hypebeast: Tell us a bit about what you capture for this brief.

Nondumiso Shange: The sculptured art outside Rosebank by Circa and Everead is a captivating display that enhances the vibrant atmosphere of the trendy neighborhood in Johannesburg. The outdoor art features a diverse style, including a compelling human face sculpture, a rainbow-like installation, and a striking horse sculpture.

What stands out to you about these pieces?

These artworks contribute to the aesthetic appeal of Rosebank, providing a visually appealing experience for anyone passing through the area. The blend of creativity and diversity in these sculptures makes them enjoyable for art enthusiasts and casual observers alike.

Hypebeast: As the only Culture Scout from Cape Town, take us through the pieces you came across in your city.

Mikhalia Vera Martha Petersen: From the hustle and bustle of the main road in Woodstock, you can see the Breezeyoko mural commissioned by the iconic Chimerenaga. A multidimensional project that combines a print magazine, a workspace, a platform for editorial and curatorial activities, an online library, and a radio station (the Pan-African Space Station).

I usually take a taxi to the CBD and often walk past this mural on Spin Street, created by an unknown artist which always stands out to me. Walking through The Company Garden and the iconic Esther Mahlangu mural graces the facade of the South African National Museum. On my way to complete my journey at Bo-Kaap, I captured a mural commissioned by Baz Art, one of the boys from my neighborhood.

To find out more information on the Samsung S23 Ultra that the Culture Scouts used to capture their “City of Art” check out the brand’s website now.

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