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Courtesy of Chad Hanning

Chad Hanning is the Street Artist Fusing Graffiti with Cartoons

The South African street artist says that his diverse country is the rainbow nation with dull walls.

Think of cartoon-like doodles turned into entire murals in ebullient colors, fluid lines and quite humorous shapes. That is exactly what young street artist Chad Hanning (whose graffiti name is "Bushy") is bringing to the world of graffiti. For the longest time graffiti has been associated with vandalism, rebellion and gangsterism. Over the years, that narrative has changed and the artform has evolved and metamorphosed not only into a visually captivating artform but one that is, in Hanning's case, bringing the youth in communities together.

We caught up with him to learn a little more about his particular brand of street art.

How did you get into street art? What was the inspiration and the muse(s)?

A lot of my work is inspired by music, relationships with people and daily life.I was about 14 years old when I got into mural art, that's when I painted my first wall. At the time, the area I lived in was the Mecca of graffiti in Cape Town—Mitchells Plain Westridge. The scene died out after the graffiti bylaw was passed in Cape Town in 2010. Unfortunately, about 90 percent of the murals were painted over with dull paint. This seems funny. We're meant to be a rainbow nation but we have dull walls.

What is the greatest challenge when it comes to creating street art?

The most difficult thing when it comes to painting murals would be the Cape Town graffiti by law. As an artist, to paint in a public space, we have to apply for a public art permit, which could be a long and demotivating process. I've had permit applications declined in the past. Before the bylaw, it was as easy as just asking the owner of the wall for permission, which now seems like a dream.

What distinguishes you from other street artists here and across the continent?

My illustrative style comes through in my mural art, which is easily recognizable if you know my work. Simple illustration style is not always easy to execute.

I've always loved cartoons and vector style illustrations. Life can be depressing and hard at times and so I bring in a lot of vibrant colors and mostly keep my themes light and fun to break away from the harsh realities, even if it's just for a while.

Follow Chad Hanning on Instagram and Facebook.


"Your friendly neighborhood vandal"Courtesy of Chad Hanning


"A friend's birthday, he's old"Courtesy of Chad Hanning


"Best way to travel"Courtesy of Chad Hanning


"Gameboi Vandal"Courtesy of Chad Hanning


"To hold onto yourself, let yourself slip"Courtesy of Chad Hanning


"More Air"Courtesy of Chad Hanning


"Dan the Vandal Spray Can"Courtesy of Chad Hanning


"Bad Apple"Courtesy of Chad Hanning


"Same baggage, different day"Courtesy of Chad Hanning


"Hip Hop Andy"Courtesy of Chad Hanning

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The ornate gilded copper headgear, which features images of Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles, was unearthed after refugee-turned-Dutch-citizen Sirak Asfaw contacted Dutch 'art detective' Arthur Brand. (Photo by Jan HENNOP/AFP) (Photo by JAN HENNOP/AFP via Getty Images)

A Stolen 18th Century Ethiopian Crown Has Been Returned from The Netherlands

The crown had been hidden in a Dutch apartment for 20 years.

In one of the latest developments around art repatriation, a stolen 18th century Ethiopian crown that was discovered decades ago in the Netherlands, has been sent back home.

Sirak Asfaw, an Ethiopian who fled to The Netherlands in the '70s, first found the relic in the suitcase of a visitor in 1998, reports BBC Africa. He reportedly protected the item for two decades, before informing Dutch "art crime investigator" Arthur Brand and authorities about his discovery last year.

The crown is one of only 20 in existence and features intricate Biblical depictions of Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. Historians believe it was given to the church by the warlord Welde Sellase several centuries ago.

Read: Bringing African Artifacts Home

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Art
Image courtesy of Trap Bob.

Trap Bob Is the 'Proud Habesha' Illustrator Creating Colorful Campaigns for the Digital Age

The DMV-based artist speaks with OkayAfrica about the themes in her work, collaborating with major brands, and how her Ethiopian heritage informs her work.

DMV-based visual artist Tenbeete Solomon also known as Trap Bob is a buzzing illustrator using her knack for colorful animation to convey both the "humor and struggle of everyday life."

The artist, who is also the Creative Director of the creative agency GIRLAAA has been the visual force behind several major online movements. Her works have appeared in campaigns for Giphy, Girls Who Code, Missy Elliott, Elizabeth Warren, Apple, Refinery 29 and Pabst Blue Ribbon (her design was one of the winners of the beer company's annual art can contest and is currently being displayed on millions of cans nationwide). With each striking illustration, the artist brings her skillful use of color and storytelling to the forefront.

Her catalog also includes fun, exuberant graphics that depict celebrities and important moments in Black popular culture. Her "Girls In Power" pays homage to iconic women of color in a range of industries with illustrated portraits. It includes festive portraits of Beyoncé, Oprah, Serena Williams and Michelle Obama to name a few.

Trap Bob is currently embarking on an art tour throughout December, which sees her unveiling murals and recent works for Pabst Blue Ribbon in her hometown of DC and during Art Basel in Miami. You can see her tour dates here.

We caught up with the illustrator via email, to learn more about the themes in her work and how her Ethiopian heritage informs her illustrations. Read it below and see more of Trap Bob's works underneath.

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Stormzy, YBN Cordae, Ari Lennox and Col3trane Added to Rocking The Daisies 2020 Lineup

Stormzy, YBN Cordae, Ari Lennox and Col3trane will be performing in South Africa during this year's edition of Rocking The Daisies.

Rocking The Daisies is celebrating its 15th year of existence this year. The popular music and lifestyle festival recently announced they have added four new names on the bills—UK's Stormzy and Col3trane alongside US rapper YBN Cordae and the singer Ari Lennox.

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Photo: Sachyn Mital for The Town Hall.

This Is What Fatoumata Diawara's NYC Concert Looked Like

In photos: the Malian singer performed a stunning show at The Town Hall.

Fatoumata Diawara played a mesmerizing show in New York City over the weekend.

The Malian singer, songwriter, guitarist and actor had The Town Hall swaying to a selection of songs from her latest Grammy-nominated album, Fenfo, as well as other classic cuts.

Fatoumata was joined on the night by a four-piece backing band that followed her every word and guitar riff, as she showcased her special blend of traditional Malian music and striking Bambara vocal melodies with elements of modern rock, funk, R&B and afrobeat.

"I didn't want to sing in English or French because I wanted to respect my African heritage," Fatoumata has mentioned."But I wanted a modern sound because that's the world I live in. I'm a traditionalist, but I need to experiment, too. You can keep your roots and influences but communicate them in a different style."

Fatoumata's main message, one which she stated throughout the show, is one of hope for the future of Africa and of female empowerment. It's "about the world, peace, how Africa can be a better place, especially for women, because I am one, and I am a survivor," she says. "I want to encourage those who have lost hope."

Browse through pictures from her show at The Town Hall, which was opened by Guatemala's Gabby Moreno, below.

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