As seen below, my good friend Ricky Lee Gordon invited me to spend some time down the earth on Mama Africa.
I already knew Joburg, or a part of it, `cause I came there last November, but I never seen Capetown before. And the whole journey was extremely contrasted in terms of environment, and always surprising.

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. South Africa.

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. Capetown. SOUTH AFRICA. 2013. Photo by K. Warshkow

I spent most of time in an old fisherman neighborhood named Woodstock. It’s quite a strange place there, since it s an area in process of gentrifaction, and you pass from one fancy block with various shops & galleries, to some old small streets that could seem abandoned but are not.

My brother thought he had found a wall for me but finally the owner retracted…so we kept on walking around and finally hit that small corner house, window broken, glass on the floor…not to say the worst. I was not confortable but we went to knock at the door.

BEFORE & AFTER. woodstock. SA

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. Before & after photo. By R. Lee Gordon

We seen a woman come out, barefoot, not at her best…but she smile and was absolutely happy to have someone wanting to repaint his house for free. No matter it was just white or whatever. But something for her. For her nighborhood. So I came the next day with the tools I needed, knock again to say I’ll start.

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. South Africa.

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. Capetown. SOUTH AFRICA. 2013. Photo by K. Warshkow

No one around. But I take the rollo and start to paint the first side of the house….and just after the first square meter was done, my sight, my perception of the place completly change…I seen potential. And all the kids started to gather around, smile, talk to me…and couldn t see the shit around anymore…but just their light.

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. South Africa.

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. South Africa.

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. Capetown. SOUTH AFRICA. 2013. Photo by K. Warshkow

I kept on for the day, and the vibe was good all along. I left the tools in the house, and came back 3 days after to finsih the other side. They had used all of it….but still, they used in order to keep on painting things, furnitures, in their house. Some even asked me to paint a old shoe brush so that he could give it as a gift to his girl. Simple things that could seem ridiculous to the eye of the cinical man, but I know this girl will feel the true Love of her man.

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. South Africa.

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. Capetown. SOUTH AFRICA. 2013. Photo by K. Warshkow

Also, I often ask myself if what I do in that kind of neighborhood is good or not. When I think in a large term point of you, I am afraid. Because I know it might affect the neighborhood in a way I can`t really control. My paintings, or those of other artists, and most creative things/events happening in any “underground” place can be use as a tool of gentrification…And it might have a wrong consequence on some people’s Life. I hope i could avoid that. But I also know that the while I am doing this painting, people feel hope, feel Life, through the act of someone. And it can inspire them to do so. Not necessary by painting, but just by any act of creation. I also know most people prefer to see their place refreshed with the Life of colors rather than fucked up. So I keep on creating. And try to inspire good things in other minds and bodies. For my soul and theirs.

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. South Africa.

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. Capetown. SOUTH AFRICA. 2013. Photo by K. Warshkow

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. South Africa.

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. Capetown. SOUTH AFRICA. 2013. Photo by K. Warshkow

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. WE ARE HERE !

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. Capetown. SOUTH AFRICA. 2013. Photo by REMED

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. South Africa.

BETWEEN SKY & EARTH. Capetown. SOUTH AFRICA. 2013. Photo by K. Warshkow

On a Saturday, Ricky, the friends and I went to Kayelithsa. A township around Capetown, with a massive street on which people from all the townships around, come to gather, eat some barbecue, have a beer, get their best outfit and dance on the sound of the boomer of the tuned cars. That was real cool to share time there.

Before we had a few beers in the street, I met the funy owner of a hair cut shop which allow me to paint after a few words exchanged.

Here are pictrues of this one.

AFRICAN WOMAN. Kayelitsha. SOUTH AFRICA

ONE LIFE TO LIVE. Cape. SOUTH AFRICA. 2013. Photo by R. Lee Gordon

AFRICAN WOMAN. Kayelitsha. SOUTH AFRICA

ONE LIFE TO LIVE. Capetown. SOUTH AFRICA. 2013. Photo by REMED

Just when I was finishing the piece, wondering what I would put over the moon, a kid randomly pass by…with a stencil of a flower! And he asked if I could put it on the wall, which I did while another boy asked me if I could write the 3 letters MFV. I doubt cause I tought it could have the name of a gang…but instead of that I learned it meant : NO MORE VIOLENCE. My blessing to these boys and to my man COSMOS, amazing soul jah, a great painter I met meanwhile this was happening.

AFRICAN WOMAN. Kayelitsha. SOUTH AFRICA

ONE LIFE TO LIVE. Cape. SOUTH AFRICA. 2013. Photo by R. Lee Gordon

At the end of my travel I’ve been ask to paint another mural, on one of the wall of the Foundry, the guys who helped me for the bronze sculpture. So I couldn’t refuse, and that was quite interesting ’cause one of my friend, Andrew Breitenberg, already did paint a group of birds flying through the wall. I didn’t want to erase it, but rather to sublime it. So I choosed to paint a hand, open, as if it was the one who free these wing beings from whatever could have stopped them. Or since they were already free in the mind of my friend, maybe the hand is just saying hello, or maybe it s just here in case one fall…Anyway, here it is.

BECAUSE THE SUN BELONGS TO YOU

BECAUSE THE SUN BELONGS TO YOU. Capetown. SOUTH AFRICA. 2013. Photo by R. Lee Gordon

BECAUSE THE SUN BELONGS TO YOU

ONE LIFE TO LIVE. Capetown. SOUTH AFRICA. 2013. Photo by REMED

BECAUSE THE SUN BELONGS TO YOU *

BECAUSE THE SUN BELONGS TO YOU. Capetown. SOUTH AFRICA. 2013. Photo by REMED

P E A C E

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