Q&A with Graffiti Artist Falko

Q&A with Graffiti Artist Falko
The graffiti Godfather of Cape Town, Falko, recently finished an amazing piece on the border between Israel and Lebanon. We caught up with him to find out more about his most recent international work. 
Most of us know you and what you do, but for those who don’t, please could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became such a prominent graffiti artist? 
This year I`ve been doing graffiti 30 years! I started in a time when there was nothing or when graffiti meant which sketch on paper is the best. The understanding of graffiti and what it was actually about consisted of 2 books, 3 movies and some music videos. Everyone who was doing graffiti before me (keeping in mind that they were basically winging it), painted about 1 piece per year... and it was an achievement. The lack of graffiti actually being done was because they didn`t understand the culture of it.
This is were I come in...
If anyone wants to be famous or KING today you got to put a lot of work in. Then, because of the meagre amount of graffiti - it was the right place and time. The "scene" was small enough to make a name after doing 3 pieces - haha. Also, a new person getting involved was welcomed. The more the better!
Considering the era, (apartheid - where graffiti was considered political only), and my determination to become "king", I sacrificed everything - including school. All I did was hustle cash to buy paint, then paint and repeat! Within 2 years I basically did more graffiti alone than everyone before me did in 7 years.
And that`s how it started!

We love your latest work on the Israeli border in Shetula. What was the message you were trying to portray? And what is the relevance of elephants in a lot of your more recent work? 
The project is called "Art Over Hate"- apolitical and promoting peace through the artwork is the basic agenda. However, the politics is a heavy cloud over the idea of just being in Israel. A group of seven artists from around the world painted the border wall between Israel and Lebanon. 
Initially, the adult residents of Shetula did not want Elephants because they felt that there is no relevance. The kids persuaded the adults to have elephants painted. The kids sold them the symbolism of  "elephants represent family". The residents believe that the wall is a symbol of how unsafe they are and wish it wasn`t there... so I painted the bulldozers of the wild! Elephants to me are like the magician's deck of cards!

Do you have any future plans for work that we should look out for? 
If I do, I won`t say. Never reveal your plans until its done! 

Haha - got it! Any advice for South African graffiti artists starting out?
Don`t accept compliments from family and friends! They are just being nice.



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