VIVID: Visitors at the art gallery view some of the exhibits. Picture:  Wayne BKS
VIVID: Visitors at the art gallery view some of the exhibits. Picture: Wayne BKS
ARTISTIC: This art was created by Mohamed Mo Hassan, who is one of a pair. Picture: Mo Hassan
ARTISTIC: This art was created by Mohamed Mo Hassan, who is one of a pair. Picture: Mo Hassan
COLOURFUL: This mural painted by Mohamed Mo Hassan forms part of the exhibition. Picture: Mo Hassan
COLOURFUL: This mural painted by Mohamed Mo Hassan forms part of the exhibition. Picture: Mo Hassan
CONFORM: Wayne Conform created this art called aliases Conform and Skiet.  Picture: Wayne BKS Conform
CONFORM: Wayne Conform created this art called aliases Conform and Skiet. Picture: Wayne BKS Conform

IN A TASTE of what is to come in February at Cape Town’s newest art festival, two artists have put on a live “performance” to make a 7m-wide work of art in central Cape Town.

Bringing art out of the hushed and hallowed spaces of galleries, Wayne BKS, who goes by the aliases Conform and Skiet, and Mohamed “Mo” Hassan, worked side by side making a piece of art on a large sheet of plastic stretched between two lamp-posts.

The illustrators and artists are also what is commonly known as graffiti artists, and are probably used to being criticised and misunderstood.

But that will soon change, however, if the team at Baz Art, the NGO that is launching South Africa’s first International Public Art Festival (IPAF) next month, have their way. The NGO seeks to bring street art into the mainstream and to use it to improve people’s lives.

In addition to IPAF, a festival dedicated to teaching, creating and showcasing street art, Baz Art is launching a variety of programmes from art classes for children to beautifying neighbourhoods with large, well-maintained murals and helping entrepreneurs set up spin-off businesses such as food stalls, galleries or local tours.

The live graffiti painting will take place as part of Open Streets City Centre, which will see Bree and Longmarket streets closed to traffic for the day on Sunday.

The Open Streets event is the latest in a series of street closures across Cape Town, from Langa to Bellville and Observatory to Mitchells Plain, designed to encourage residents to reclaim the streets as places to connect and commune. The IPAF will be held from February 10 to 20. More info at http://ipafest.co.za/