Falko One is considered one of the most important street artists and has played an integral part in the development of street art in South Africa. After 30 years making street art, Falko boasts over 200 elephant painting across South Africa, and a few internationally. Falko’s work is typically seen on the side of buildings or on houses in small villages across South Africa but now his signature elephant has made its way to Johannesburg. On the 19th November, New Balance is set to launch its new revamped experience store in Mall of Africa where Falko has collaborated with the brand to create a one-of-a-kind wall installation as well as limited-edition New Balance shoe boxes, which sneaker and street art fans will be able to get their hands on when purchasing a pair of New Balance sneakers at the new store on opening day.
Elephants are deep-rooted in both Falko’s artistic heritage as well as our South African heritage. They represent strength, resilience and fearless independence. While he isn’t one to reveal too much meaning behind his pieces, Falko did share some inspiration behind the New Balance collaboration, “like art, being entrenched in sneaker culture is a form of creativity that is unique to all of us – we all have our own style preferences that represent a unique expression of ourself. My creativity comes to life in street art, some do it through music and others express it through their love for sneakers.”
“I’ve enjoyed creating something with New Balance that combines fantasy and realism which allows for people to interpret the artwork freely and start their own conversation,” says Falko. His art is inspired by his environment and the people around him – his style remains unique to him but the piece becomes unique to its surroundings. “The colourful elephants and psychedelic hues are something that are authentic to me but the true hustle and bustle of Jozi comes through strongly in both the wall installation and in the shoeboxes, which took inspiration from the iconic Jozi taxi.”
“Collaborating with brands who share our values as artists is an opportunity for us to freely express ourselves while remaining authentic to who we are, challenging the status quo and changing perspectives through exposing our work to different audiences,” he added.
Visit the New Balance experience store in Mall of Africa from Saturday, 20th November 2021 and purchase a pair of New Balance sneakers to receive your very own limited-edition Falko shoebox. The first 30 consumers will also receive a free Sneaker LAB product. Terms & Conditions apply.