Smates in Cape Town: It’s art, Jim, but not as we know it
Belgian street artist Bart Smeets (better known as Smates) starts his epic mural in Salt River this week
The largest public art mural in Cape Town (400m²) is about to dominate a previously uninteresting site in Harrington Street. Over the next 11 days, the mural will effectively act as an extension of, and billboard for, the third International Public Art Festival (Ipaf) which takes place in Salt River from February 9-17 next year. Infamous Belgian street artist Bart Smeets (better known as Smates) starts his epic mural this week and visitors can see it develop until its completion on November 11 2019. Baz-Art, the NGO that runs the festival, has collaborated with the Flanders Embassy in Pretoria and with Flanders State-of-the-Art in Belgium to bring Smeets to Cape Town to create this massive public artwork. The mural reflects the Ipaf 2019 theme of Generation Next, which will feature a child, a dog and “aviation”. Baz-Art is working towards bringing Smeets back to Cape Town again so that he can create another work for the festival in Salt River next February.
Through the festival over the past two years, Baz-Art and more than 70 local and international artists have transformed the streets of Salt River into an open-air national art gallery featuring over 100 public artworks.
For more info
Exciting graffiti, street art and contemporary urban art festivals are blossoming all around the world. The founders of Baz-Art recognised that despite the incredible talent pool, Africa did not have a flagship international event that gave artists the opportunity to express and showcase their skills. Baz-Art seized the opportunity to colloborate with the Ipaf community and initiated the first Ipaf in Salt River in February 2017. Baz-Art also collaborates with the Mexico and Vancouver Public Art Festivals, which focus on exchanging ideas and projects.