As the world has locked down to deal with the novel coronavirus pandemic, life has moved online. And, as they say, art imitates life. So it makes sense that the creative arts are finding ways to go digital too. WORLDART in Cape Town is running an online-only exhibition called AEROSOL showcasing the works of artists who use spray paint to create their work.

The exhibition statement explains:

“Spray paint was invented in 1949 in Illinois when someone got the idea to put paint in an aerosol canister. By the early eighties urban youth started using it as a way to express themselves and create images and messages for their communities.

Aerosol spray paint was the perfect tool to use as a weapon against authority. It came in small, easy-to-conceal, easy-to-steal cans. It was paint and brush in one. It dried quickly. It worked well on building materials and trains. Even the imprecise application lent it an inherent disregard. Its inability to be perfectly controlled made it an apt metaphor for rebellion. Then artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and his mentor Andy Warhol brought graffiti art and spray paint into the fine art world. The last twenty years saw the rise of urban art, a movement that can loosely be described as art that originates from urban environments, often by those artists who come from street art and graffiti background. Naturally aerosol paint is a medium that features strongly in this genre.

While some artists use it in reference to urban art, others use it with no reference to it at all. Spray paint as a medium used in the fine arts has matured and this exhibition celebrates just that.”

AEROSOL went live as WORLDART’s first online exhibition on 23 April. The artists featured are:

Nando’s has a long relationship with Kilmany-Jo. It began when she joined the Creative Block programme, managed by Spier Arts Trust, where artists are given blocks of a specific size on which to create their art, and then submit these regularly, with the best ones purchased. She was soon invited to join other Nando’s artist development programmes and had her first solo art exhibition in Cape Town sponsored by Nando’s Creative Exchange. Today, her artworks are showcased in several of our restaurants around the world.

Robyn was one of the four artists who took part in the most recent edition of Nando’s Creative Exchange in December 2019 and January 2020. It was at this exhibition that she was approached by WORLDART to represent her work. Robyn explores a painting process that combines both traditional form and storytelling through photorealist portraiture, conveying a celebration of identity and culture. Her aim is to evoke a more inclusive representation of South African people and the environmental influences that helped shape them.

MARS is a Johannesburg-based graffiti writer who has been hailed as the King of South African graffiti. His unmistakable art can be seen across Johannesburg in various forms, on the sides of buildings, motor-passes, and abandoned lots. He created a mural for Nando’s Walmer, which was installed in late 2018.

View AEROSOL yourself here.

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