Jono is a mural artist from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. After attaining a diploma in visual communication, Jono spent three years freelancing in various creative fields including a position as creative director for AFRA, a land rights NGO, in which he directed a series of videos and documentaries that used street art and animation to address rights awareness in the farming sector in South Africa. With a background in graffiti, he began to pursue a career in street art, focusing on visual commentary and aiming to understand and reflect on societal issues. “Street art has the power to change the way we engage with our surroundings. It’s free and accessible and allows the viewer a space to engage with imagery in unexpected spaces while offering a welcome break from the monotony of daily living”. While his stylistic approach connects his work, he also aims for a variety of different subject matter, keeping his work dynamic and relevant.
Humans have an overwhelming desire to tell stories; a desire to reflect society and comment on our concerns, our realities and how we see potential futures. From cave paintings to Hollywood, we’ve collectively indulged in all sorts of personal expression over millennia. Somewhere down the line we started to starve our public spaces of the magic and wonder that is creative expression. Grey walls are the order of the day and everyone must step in line. As a result, we’re missing out on a whole world of colour and imagination, expression and understanding.
Street art tends to throw away the rule book. Art exists everywhere and belongs to everyone. My exploration of street art and its role in society starts with this premise. I create my work for a broad audience and I expect people to interpret it as they please. Agree, disagree, debate, question. These things are fundamental to how we position ourselves in the world, how we align ourselves and ultimately how we construct our reality. Sometimes the beauty of street art is in the colour, sometimes it’s the message, but what connects it all is its ability to create meaning from monotony. I use street art to explore my own mind, to question things in the world that I consider important, but mostly I’m creating conversations. There’s a beauty in knowing that I’ll never hear them, but I know they’re happening and that’s good enough for me.