Travel

The Vibrant Street Art of Johannesburg

April 8, 2015

When people told me Johannesburg is just like Brooklyn, I knew I’d find some cool artwork on the streets! My first day in town I wandered into a coffee shop, showed the barista a photo of the mural I was trying to find, and from there I was off to explore the city! Below are some of my favorite finds on my self-guided walking tour of Johannesburg.

Maboneng Street Art

I started my walking tour in Maboneng, near the 12 Decades hotel. This one caught my attention immediately with the vibrant purple typography and positive messages.

Maboneng Street Art

I really appreciate the fact that they captured her natural hair in such detail (Where I’m from we call those little circles “naps,” and they are awesome little bundles of strength that should be celebrated!) Every little bit helps to reinforce natural beauty!

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This installation is located on Fox Street in Maboneng. The answers ranged from comical to touching, and passersby contribute to the piece each day in chalk.

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IMG_1142With this one you really need to just grab a drink, pull up a chair and analyze it for like an hour. Maybe it’s a child going after a ball in the street and the mother is running after him? Or maybe he’s a zombie with super human strength and is about to pick up that telephone pole and smack those flamingos out of the sky? Or maybe I should put this drink down.

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This little gem was located underneath an overpass in a sketchy block in Jeppestown. Love the fact that it’s there, and not in some fancy gallery. Loving your city isn’t always about the attractions or gentrified areas. Love all of it for what it is!

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Maboneng spelled out on each pilar of this overpass. Love the pride in their neighborhood! (Brooklyn stand up!)

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This wall seemed to be tagged by different artists since the elements appear unrelated. Whether it was 1 person or 20, its really cool!

IMG_1139So….maybe the cell phone is weeping because the wood is tied up and it’s cold outside? I give up.

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Street sign in the heart of the Maboneng Precinct near the 12 Decades Hotel.

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During my walking tour I wandered into a nearby market and found all kinds of cool artwork like these records that had been transformed into colorful masterpieces!

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This is dope! Looks like something Lady Gaga would wear to the VMAs. With a family of doves around her neck.

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This is the mural I actually set out to find that day, and it ended up being blocked by cars and a tree. Still glad I found it, and all of the other gems along the way. (Here’s a clearer shot by Jozichic’s magazine CBD)

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Next I headed over to Braamfontein to find this colorful installation. It sits outside a cool restaurant and gathering place called The Grove.

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Take a closer look though. The letters are made up of Coke product bottle tops! Not sure if this was commissioned or coincidental but either way, a win for Coke.

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Here’s The Grove area at night. Great place to chill with your crew and the food is pretty good!

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Across the street in the South Point Central building I spotted this cool kid on the walls inside. They are converting some of the local buildings into dorm space and this painting is a part of their remodeling process.

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“You don’t just find your place here. You make it and you find yourself.” *waves church fan*

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Love this! Reminiscent of Warhol pop art but cooler cause its Mandela! Spotted this one outside the Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein.

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I do! And you will too when you visit!


I loved Johannesburg in ways I’ve never loved another city (besides Brooklyn), and the street art is one of many things that made this place feel like home. If you take a trip to Jozi make sure to walk around the cultural centers ofΒ  Maboneng, Braamfontein, and Newtown to see the artwork.Β  There’s so much to see in this underrated city – you just have to take the time to seek it ou. Enjoy your trip and feel free to share links to other artwork you find in the comments below!

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2 Comments

  • Reply Chanel | Cultural Xplorer April 13, 2015 at 11:42 am

    As a huge street art fan, I love this post πŸ˜€ Thanks for the suggestions on what neighborhoods to see street are in when I visit next month πŸ˜€

  • Reply LoveBrownSugar April 19, 2015 at 4:05 am

    This is so dope! And super creative to snap photos of all of these. Need to know more about this walking tour you took!

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