Toyah Humphreys – Motel Seven

Toyah Humphreys is a female graffiti artist that grew up in South Africa with European parents. She’s since moved to Europe to persue her fine art career in galleries.

I had a solo show at 34 long street at the beginning of the year, and I am having a solo show in Amsterdam at the end of this year at the Willem Kerseboom gallery. I am also doing numerous group shows in London. I have been painting graffiti for around 5 years, and only in the last year moved into galleries. I love what I do, and am lucky enough to get paid to do it!


  1. When are people going to get over graffiti and this type of associated drivel? It’s formulaic and representative of clichéd ‘youth’ culture. I imagine most serious artists can see right through the cut-and-paste methodology employed by those who parents unknowingly fork out for spray paint and markers, hence graffiti’s conspicuous absence from mainstream galleries.

  2. Toyah, you make us proud minky!

  3. Josh, while I agree with what you say about graffiti in general, it’s only those who go above & beyond the ‘usual’ stuff who make it great. It’s not difficult to see that what Toyah is doing isn’t ‘formulaic’ or ‘cut-and-paste’.

    Also, i’m guessing this isn’t supposed to appeal to the people who want to see work by the ‘serious artists’ you talk about. What are you, a renaissance painter?

    Toyah, this stuff is great!

  4. motel 7 rules ..

    a lot of “designers” could learn from graffiti artists in my opinion. Their knowledge of colour and colour theory is above and beyond most so called “designers”. instead of a formulaic argument Josh perhaps you should take notes.. as i presume you are a “more serious artist”

    As for Graf writers not being in galleries .. have you been living under a rock ? Banksy , Nick Walker , Hush , David Choe , Mike Giant , Anthony Lister and the list goes on.. all use graf “cut and paste” elements and are all major artists ..

    perhaps a more personal well thought out argument would have been wise. Your comments are old and boring.

    Sorry to be harsh.. just my opinion

  5. Who are we to judge what a ‘serious artist’ is anyway?
    Beautiful work – of course its art.

  6. well, josh, firstly, she is not some shithead tagger with freckles from some massive house in the southern suburbs. she paints graffiti, but her paintings are the ones hanging in galleries, not her more graffiti orientated work. her gallery work, draws from her graffiti stuff, but it is a completely separate entity and is fresh and very very well executed formally. most ‘designers’ can’t even draw properly nowadays, let alone use a paintbrush

  7. “most ‘designers’ can’t even draw properly nowadays, let alone use a paintbrush” – I might have to quote you on that one Mike.

  8. motel is mad talented no doubt no matter what perspective you look at it. i’ve seen her paint live and worked with her. she develops ideas quickly and her “rough” sketches are fresh too. her control on of a brush and can is insane. i’ve seen her work where she has tested vectors and its better than some people i’ve seen being a designer for years. much respect.