INTERVIEWED BY Lindi Brownell Meiring
We’ve featured the work of talented local artist Karabo Poppy Moletsane on VISI.co.za before, from her murals for the Nike Football Training Center in Soweto to her work on Zoo Lake’s community basketball courts. Here, we chat to her about creativity, style and her new Valentine’s Day collaboration with Woolworths.
What do you love most about creating?
What I love most about creating has to be the ability to represent the unrepresented, to take the seemingly ordinary aspects of everyday life in South Africa that one would not normally see in media or in contemporary art and portray this in an exciting, modern and celebratory way.
?✍???♀️// ?:@the_nine3 + @johan.van.tonder. Shooting some hoops at the courts I got to collaborate with and design. — — — #KaraboPoppy #BattleForceJHB #ZooLake #Nike #Basketball #TomboyStyle #StreetArt #Johannesburg #HypeCourts #HypeBeast #Hypebae #WomenInIllustration #Illustration #Design #BattleForce #SouthAfrica
How would you describe the style of your work?
My style of work serves to preserve the African aesthetic, it portrays contemporary Africa. My work makes use of vivid colours – it’s quirky and feels like home to viewers who grew up in Africa, especially in South Africa.
You work features in zines and graphic novels, on buildings, on posters, record covers and in magazines, to name a few. Where do you most enjoy expressing your creativity?
Where I most enjoy expressing my creativity changes quite often, although at the moment I am really enjoying being able to scale up my work on a canvas. Creating art on the walls of spaces, buildings – and even the floors of basketball courts – is something I am enjoying most about expressing myself.
Tell us more about your new collaboration with Woolworths.
I have teamed up with Woolworths on its Valentine’s Day campaign to spread positive messages of love (not only messages of romantic love but love and appreciation for your friends, your job or even messages of self love too). Myself and three other talented street artists raided a front window display at Woolworths to create artworks around our favourite parts of an unconventional Valentine’s Day, encouraging people to Join The ReLOVELution. I have raided the storefront of the Woolworths in Sandton City with an artwork displaying different types of roses in a manner one would not expect to see them.
Career highlight so far?
It has to be a tie between having my illustrations tweeted by Bill Gates and painting a mural that featured in a Grammy-nominated music video this year (”Makeba” by JAIN) – being part of a project that was nominated for Music Video of the Year at the Grammy’s, alongside Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z, was definitely a career highlight.
What’s next for Karabo Poppy Moletsane?
More international travels and collaborations. You’ll also see one or two solo exhibitions coming this year.