“At BlackBrick we’re doing more than just developing buildings.” So says Jonathan Liebmann, the mastermind behind a new series of apartment hotels with culture at their core. “Fundamentally, we see ourselves as placemakers. Our properties are urban villages where people can stay for a day, a week, a year, work and be entertained. Every BlackBrick building is a multidimensional environment and art adds to the depth of that experience.”
To this end, a core element of the BlackBrick group is its Artist Collective, where artists are invited to bring each building to life. Every hotel apartment features a unique mural painted by an upcoming artist, while artists’ works are also woven into the public spaces of the buildings.
“We see ourselves as a platform for emerging and independent artists,” says Liebmann. “Typically art is shown in a gallery or art fair environment, but we like to think that using a public building with constant flux of visitors, creates a more organic opportunity for artists.”
BlackBrick is currently working on 30 properties within South Africa and the vision is to create a global network of urban villages where people can live and work freely through cities. “Ultimately we want to bring the artists within our collective into international properties, creating a platform for their work on a global scale.”
If you are an artist and would like to explore working with BlackBrick, mail them here.
Atang Tshikare is a Cape Town based, self-taught multidisciplinary artist. His practice has evolved over twenty years from street art and drawings, to limited-edition collectible design at the intersection of sculptural furniture and functional art, moving more recently to fine art sculpture. His voice resonates with a visionary African identity that embraces a global contemporary art language.
Maru, by Atang Tshikare, installed at BlackBrick Sandton
Sadie Clayton creates artworks from copper to bring positivity, and channel copper’s natural healing powers to reinvigorate individuals, communities and the environment.
Lazi Mathebula has worked independently as a freelance illustrator, which has seen him work with brands such as Nandos, Nike, Ford, Autotrader, Redbull, Legit, Mr Price, Absolut and Blackbrick - to name a few.
"Being someone who is highly interested in material I started interrogating certain materials and their use, while pushing boundaries and ever since then I’ve never looked back."
Fhatuwani Mukheli's personal mission is to make art more relevant. His work focuses on changing peoples’ perspective and perception of humble beginnings. He considers his many subjects a safe place and his work evokes a sense of warmth.
Sarah Grace’s approach to making work is deeply influenced by engagement with the natural world: “Going into nature, to the wild places hardly touched by human hands, my desire is to capture the spirit or essence of the place."
Farai’s art is psychological portraiture - ‘of my self, society and of the viewer’. He has a clear understanding of the importance of street art and how it can cross boundaries into the fine art world.
"I always choose to be different and not follow the norm in life’s patterns and always strive to see the God plan in all areas of my life. I use wooden blocks to build my art - each small block represents a human life and represents how we find our correct position in life."
"I'm seen as a creative and architect, but really I'm just someone who tries daily to explore and interpret the inner workings of my mind, and others' minds through the circuitous process of exploring."
Naledi Tshegofatso Modupi
Naledi Tshegofatso Modupi is a multi-dimensional visual artist known for her versatility and her ability to seamlessly manoeuvre between digital art territories and traditional art mediums at a seasoned level.
Jay Carson's art focuses on highlighting the connection between purpose, meaning and nature. “My art is my ability to see myself clearly to understand who I am, how others see me & how I fit into the world.”
"I find working with textiles fascinating and inspiring. To me weaving is an adventure, with the excitement of exploring new textures and patterns with every piece I make. There is also a sense of satisfaction in working with my hands, it makes me happy and content."
Further Reading In Articles
African Artist Directory