Johannesburg: Painting The Town Pink

When is unauthorized street art actually art, and when is it vandalism? It’s a question the city of Johannesburg, South Africa, has wrestled with since last summer, when a group of mostly anonymous artists going by the moniker Beware of Colour poured Pepto-Bismol-pink paint over a number of the city’s historic buildings, City Lab reported. Led by the Colombian-American artist Yazmany Arboleda, the group wanted to draw attention to the neglect of the city’s downtown buildings. A good number of them sit empty, even while many South Africans live in shacks. Arboleda says that the abandoned buildings “embody the injustices in the city.” Which is why he and roughly 30 other artists marked them with about 264 gallons of hot-pink, water-soluble paint.

Leave a Comment