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South African artist unveils five-storey mural in Cape Town

Stefan Smit. Picture: Supplied

Stefan Smit. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 20, 2023


If you’re ever in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Sri Lanka, Dubai or Denmark and you happen to see gigantic murals on towering buildings, you’re probably looking at one of South African artist Stefan Smit’s masterpieces.

Smit’s latest creation is an inspiring five-storey mural in the Forshore District in Cape Town.

The painter, who is originally from Johannesburg and lives in Cape Town, recently unveiled the latest mural he created, at Cape Town’s “Homii” residential development.

The theme of Smit’s art is “human connection”, provoking meaningful discussions among those who encounter his work

The mural at “Homii” beautifully exemplifies the artistic focus, featuring a powerful female subject as the central figure, symbolising the strength and beauty found within our connections to one another.

Five-story mural. Picture: Supplied

Stefan told IOL Entertainment: “I have an underlying theme in my career – ‘human connection’.

“For this particular wall, I wanted to depict two figures that tell a story about connection and individuality. It’s very interesting to hear the various opinions on this piece.

“Some say it’s a commentary on nightlife, others see a story of unrequited love, while others see a strong independent female.

“I enjoy leaving the story of my art to lie ‘in the eye of the beholder’ and hearing what others interpret gives me great satisfaction.”

The mural took seven days to create. Smit says the logistics were a great contribution to executing the result.

“A mechanical suspension lift was used in this project. Each project is different and requires different access points, sometimes I use a crane, sometimes a scissor-lift or scaffolding.

Stefan Smit on scaffolding. Picture: Supplied

“Permits are sometimes required from the City, which my partner Poppy obtains from the relevant departments.

“I love the sense of creative freedom I get from painting.

“Designing the images is done digitally, and presents a creative challenge upfront, but the most enjoyable part of any project is in the execution. Getting up onto the side of a huge building is exhilarating, and then the process of layering and creating the painting is where the magic happens.”

Smit gravitated towards art in school and has kept some of his early paintings and drawings.

He has always been interested in portraiture and capturing the essence of human connection. His father was also in the creative sector, working in film, so he was encouraged by many in his family to pursue a career based on his passion for art.

“I started painting as a child and originally studied music at ‘COPA’ in Johannesburg. After a few years in the music industry as a classical pianist, I changed course and started painting professionally as a self-taught artist.

“My grandmother was a major influence in my life, she was a multidisciplinary artist who encouraged me to pursue my art career.”

Smit has worked with brands such as Nike, Sony and Netflix, as well as galleries in the US and SA.

Recognised as one of South Africa’s most skilled mural artists, his portfolio spans diverse mediums and styles, consistently pushing the boundaries of artistic expression.

Smit welcomes commissioned projects, offering his artistic perspective to those seeking to elevate their spaces with thought-provoking artwork.

By collaborating with him, developers and business owners have the opportunity to inspire conversations, foster a sense of community and leave a lasting impression through the power of art.