I found myself down at the skate-park on Durban beach front the other day to catch up with local artist, Giffy Duminy. He was hooking the park up with some new colour for youth day the next day and I came down to interview and shoot a time lapse of events.
How long you been a graffiti artist?
I started using spray cans since i was in grade 9. (2009). So for about 6 years at the moment, and it is one of the best things that has ever happened to me! Blessed.
How did you get into it in the first place?
A few of my friends started drawing graff pieces in their school books and i saw it and was absolutely fascinated by it. I started doing my own drawings, becoming more aware of my surroundings by the day and noticing the graff in my neighbourhood, mainly Yeh2 and Gift tags (who are still some of my graffiti heroes and now really good friends too.)
What influences you in your style of work and who do you look up to in the art world?
My art teacher at school was so rad! She gave us complete artistic freedom and let us draw and paint whatever we wanted for our projects. I did the most graffiti orientated pracs. She always loved them, even though the other teachers turned up their nose at it. I’m so blessed to have had that support to pursue whatever art i wanted, not to be forced into a box that i don’t fit into, like most art teachers do. A lot of the style of my art is influenced by my first years solely doing graffiti lettering. I think a lot of graff writers are influenced by this because we tend to outline things a lot more than we should, giving a very illustrationist sort of style even when doing realism… Its always good to be inspired by your own art though, no matter how bad you think it may be, its important to be inspired by wanting to change things, to progress. Creativity to me should come from within, from experience and from stimulating the creative part of your brain. Not be taught. In my opinion, taught creativity is simply puppeting others creative concepts.. I am constantly trying to build on my ideas and concepts, always striving for improvement. There are so many people who inspire me. Most of my inspiration at the moment comes from local artists such as, Mook Lion, Dane Stops, Rasty and Falko. The main reason they inspire me is because they do their own thing with a super humble and cool attitude. To me, that in itself is so inspiring, aside from the fact they are incredible artists with super unique styles.
“In my opinion, taught creativity is simply puppeting others creative concepts.”
Where do you see SA in terms of accepting this type of art?
I think South Africa as a whole is difficult to paint with a broad brush. There are some people who love and appreciate graffiti lettering and raw ‘burners’, as we call them’ for what they are- colourful shapes of movement. Some of the public even really dig graffiti tags and throwups in their raw form. I think South Africa is relatively far behind in terms of accepting and learning to embrace contemporary art. Generally speaking i think we don’t like to learn to understand new things. But i think its changing slowly and people are becoming more aware of it. At the moment, I am trying to bridge contemporary and conservative art. Something that everyone can appreciate. Something that will change perceptions.
How do our graffiti artists rate against the rest of the world?
To be super blunt, we have some of the best graffiti artists in the world in this country and even a lot from Durban. A lot of artists are constantly looking abroad for inspiration. We have some of the most skilled and experienced artists in the world, right here in front of us. Just take a moment to think of how incredible some of the art we see in the streets is. These guys have no paint sponsors and do it out of the sheer love of art. Respect. I have so many dudes to name, the list is too long.
What other type of art work do you do?
My love of art grew from being a graffiti writer. I am not a naturally talented artist. I nearly failed art in grade 8 and 9, before graffiti. I just draw A LOT. I practice, I have spent thousands of hours stimulating the creative part of my brain. I don’t think talent has much to do with being good at anything. Hard work is what counts. My first drawings were terrible. And a lot of my drawings even today are pretty shocking. But i learn from them, its a constant learning experience. Ive been focusing more on fine art these days, but the roots of my art still show through in the style of the paintings and drawings i do.
Whats next for Giffy? Any major projects we should watch our for?
I’m just doing my thing. I always appreciate any love that comes my way!!
How do new kids on the block get into graffiti art?
Give me a shout, I’ll take you painting! 😉
How do the people get hold of you for projects?
I always feel blessed when people want me to paint for them. Feels rad to know that people like my work enough to pay money for it.
To see more of my work i have a facebook page:
My email addy is email@example.com and
cell number is 0795239469
Be sure to check out more of his work on his Facebook Page