Just over a week ago I attended the prestigius opening of the ARTEM galleria, where beautiful people, inspiring visionaries, generous hearts, remarkable art and good friends gathered. I was, of course, thrilled to be included.
The former Adelphi Centre, the ARTEM Galleria has joined the world of luxury Capetonian retail centres and to give them the edge, commissioned a group of talented Street Artists to add their mark to the Sea Point Shopping Centre. Showcasing an extensive graffiti mural that spans across the entire parking area of the shopping centre, the incredible designs are the creations of Pretoria-based street artists Lethlogonolo Mathabe, Sam Shaba, Tebogo Qhingana, Patrick Rulore and Khutjo Tsebe who together form Visualz Khorr.
This is what imagination can do. Once a shopping centre, now a space of excellence, with Coco Safar just one of the attractions. Go there for the Art, the coffee, the service, to do your shopping and to feel the rejuvenating change the future holds. As for the murals at Artem, they are incredible, like photographs with expressions and details that bring them to life. I wish I’d met the artists who created them, but have no doubt that they will return to the city.
The ARTEM Galleria
In what is a first for a Cape Town retail centre, street art was incorporated as a dominant feature in the ARTEM galleria on Main Road in Sea Point, which underwent extensive renovations and was completed in February 2018. The entire parking area for the ultra-luxurious centre has become a giant canvas, featuring the edgy designs of a young group of street artists from Pretoria.
The idea of street art combined with a luxury retail experience may seem to be a strange relationship at first, but Ahsan Darvesh, President of Da’Realty who own ARTEM, explains that he wanted art and visual beauty to be woven into the entire centre, with art pieces being exhibited throughout the building in the public spaces and that the idea was also to help promote the work of emerging artists.
The ARTEM centre features black and white marble throughout, beautiful Italian lighting, handcrafted brass balustrades, a lobby entrance with a doorman, a hand-crafted gold mosaic logo and valet parking. A combination of soft and black metal awnings running along the entire ARTEM street front has transformed the strip into a blend of Rodeo Drive meets the Champs Elysees – in the heart of Cape Town.
Ultra-luxurious meets street art
The new ARTEM galleria houses a prestigious curated Art Gallery with Eugenia Chapman Campbell as curator. Eugenia spotted the work of Visualz Khorr on social media and approached them about using the walls of the ARTEM parking garage as a showcase for their work.
“It was an amazing experience. We posted some of our portfolio work on Facebook and it was picked up by Eugenia Chapman Campbell who called us and told us to come to Cape Town. We had never been on a plane before let alone in Cape Town – so we could hardly believe it until we boarded our flights,” says Visualz Khorr founder, Khutjo Tsebe.
The idea of edgy street art combining with an ultra-luxurious retail experience may seem to be a strange relationship at first, but Ahsan Darvesh, President of Da’Realty who own ARTEM, explains that art and visual beauty will be woven into the entire centre once complete, with art pieces being exhibited throughout the building in the public spaces and that the idea is to also help promote the work of emerging artists in this beautiful new Galleria.
We had never been on a plane before let alone in Cape Town – so we could hardly believe it until we boarded our flights,” says Visualz Khorr founder, Khutjo Tsebe.
Showcasing up-and-coming artists
Ahsan, who is passionate about art in all its forms, says that whilst street art as a movement in Africa is in its infancy compared to many overseas cities, it is definitely something to watch. Ahsan explains that he feels strongly about nurturing this group of young up-and-coming artists who have chosen street art as their artistic springboard based on their circumstances and means.
“Street art is a means of artistic expression that brings vibrancy, colour and meaning into drab and dull concrete city landscapes. With a variety of themes and ideas, from social and political awareness to plain visual poetry, this art form continues to gain momentum and we are extremely pleased to have Visualz Khorr transforming the walls of ARTEM’s parking area.” Da’Realty hosted Visualz Khorr in Cape Town while they completed the work on the ARTEM parking area and were thrilled with the end product.
Meet the members of Vizualz Khorr
Khutjo: As far back as I can remember, in everything that I did, art made me feel most myself. It gave me a sense of freedom and belonging. Right through my life art has called out to me and I could no longer ignore my yearning.
Lethlogonolo: I started drawing in preschool. Focusing in class was hard, I drew during lessons – finding my refuge in art. Following matric, after a gap year to think things over, it became clear that art was the only career for me.
Tebogo: Art is in my blood. When I was in seventh grade at school I would sit during break times and draw “commissions” for my friends and classmates. I nearly gave up on my art at one stage but after realising how to turn my art talent into a career I have not looked back.
Sam: It all started at age 5 for me. That is when I realised that I possessed a talent for drawing. Every spare moment I had, I spent drawing. When I was looking for something to do with my life after completing matric, I met Patrick who helped me to take my drawings to the next level, to work with paint as a medium, and that has brought me to where I am now.
Patrick: My love affair with art started at the age of six. I remember drawing cartoon characters on the walls of my family home. Portraits of my family and friends soon followed. At school, I was addicted to drawing/sketching. In high school, I was encouraged to pursue art and this was further encouraged when I met Mr Solly – a street artist in Hamanskraal – who tutored me for about three years. After high school, I formed a company and started to visit galleries to study how art could be turned into a business. That lead to me exhibiting work in South Africa and India. It was around this time that I met the guys and we got together to form an artists’ collective.
Visualz Khorr is more than just a group of visual artists, amongst them they possess a range of talents touching on music, fashion, photography, film-making, poetry and so much more. The group plans to ultimately represent all genres and be a home for all to create. Follow Visualz Khorr on social media Facebook At Vizualz Khorr and Instagram Visualz Khorr.
Watch the Videos
Da’Realty established its presence in the Western Cape three years ago and is developing luxurious bespoke buildings which offer living and retail spaces that are works of art. The company’s goal is to create properties which redefine the concept of opulent limited-edition living in South Africa. Da’Realty will never develop more than one building within a given suburb or area of the Western Cape and will only roll out projects as and when the right properties present themselves. Current properties under development by Da’Realty include Aurum, previously the Ambassador Hotel; Azalea, luxury residential hanging garden villas in Clifton; and Artem, previously the Adelphi Centre in Sea Point.
The company’s goal is to create properties which redefine the concept of opulent limited-edition living in South Africa.
The Essential Details
For more information on Da’Realty visit www.darealty.com or contact Da’Realty on 021 2022274. For press assistance contact Ian and Lise Manley of Manley Communications on 0861 MANLEY (626 539), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Press Room of Manley Communications at www.manleycommunications.co.za. Videos and Images by Eden Weiss Videography.