Urban artist Falko One brings life and color to the streets of South African towns. After thirty-two years as a graffiti artist, Falko has played a significant role in the development of South Africa’s graffiti scene by leaving his marks on lonely walls. The artist’s awe-inspiring murals often resemble local wildlife which also cleverly interacts with various elements of the buildings, such as windows, pipes, or air conditioners.
In 2010, Falko started a project called “Once Upon A Town,” where he painted his way across South Africa, turning poor neighborhoods into open-air galleries that attract tourists. Vivid elephants in all shapes and forms are his most common and recognizable artworks. Scroll down to check his most incredible spray-painted creations!
Falko One's career goes way back, he explained his background. “I started doing graffiti art in 1988 through my involvement with hip hop (very, very early days in our development) here in Cape Town, South Africa. It’s all I do to this day. The elephants in particular I started doing in 2014. I was in Dakar, Senegal when I did the first one."
The artist explained the motivation of the elephants and why he started drawing them. "In short, the people of the village weren’t happy with me painting chickens (‘cause that’s what I painted for a while before). The chickens caused quite a few problems. In that moment, and not wanting to waste the trip, I took a risk and painted what I thought would be ‘neutral’… And hence the seed was planted. Now my work has evolved into using air cons, windows, and trees… Basically, I’m trying to incorporate my works into society non‐intrusively,” the artist told Bored Panda.
Falko makes a beautiful case for non-intrusive methods of painting so that graffiti doesn't clash with the environment, or with the locals, for that matter. Sometimes the graffiti may look great by itself, but it isn't responsive to the environment. Falko's work shifts this notion and coexists with the background. What are your thoughts, pandas? If you like the artist's work, you know what to do—show support and follow him on his social media links above.