Art Interview South Africa

Subscribe to industry newsletters

Search jobs

Dbongz Mahlathi creates Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 3 mural

Johannesburg street artist Dbongz Mahlathi teamed up with Disney+ to create a proudly South African mural for the launch of Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 3.

Dbongz Mahlathi is a street artist from the West of Johannesburg. He started participating in street art in 2008 when he first came to the city to pursue his tertiary education. He fell in love with the freedom it afforded him, the colours, the huge canvases in a form of walls, the confidence it instilled in him, and the ability to spread conceptual messages to the masses.

Image supplied
Image supplied

Describe your collaboration with Disney+ to create a mural artwork for the launch of Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 3?

Baz Art reached out to me with a commission for The Mandalorian Season 3 launch. I must say I was thrilled to work with Disney+ especially on a franchise this big! My brief was to bring The Mandalorian to life while representing South Africa.

What was the inspiration behind the artwork?

Beads are a huge part of South African culture. We have used these for various spiritual and decorative reasons and they also unite the different tribes in our country. The idea was to create something that brings The Mandalorian home to South Africa and make it relatable to us.

How did you merge your design aesthetic and style?

I captured the valor and energy of Season 3 and keeping true to the original helmet design while adding some color and charisma to it.

How would you describe the mural in three words?

This mural is power, strenght and unity.

Image supplied
Image supplied

Where can people go and check out the mural?

It's out at Kingsmead College on Oxford Road – bring your phone with you and experience the incredible merger of art and augmented reality!

How did you get into mural painting?

Like most muralists, I started on the streets, but I took a more artistic approach when I started working with big brands, I really focus on photo realism.

How would you describe your artistic style?

My style is hyperrealism.

What inspires your art?

I am inspired by the township story. I like to tell Black South African stories through my art, showing both our challenges and aspirations.

For people who are not familiar with mural painting, what are the main techniques that you use?

I use spray paint and acrylic to create large scale photo realistic murals.

Image supplied
Image supplied

How’s the street art scene in South Africa/Johannesburg?

Opportunities are opening for street artists; more and more big brands are aligning their marketing strategies with art and it’s super cool to see. Organisations like Baz Art are also really helping artists monetise their craft, making it easier for us to make a living.

What do you want the public to take away from your mural?

That there is always a Way to make anything happen, especially what seems hard!

What do you enjoy doing if you are not creating murals?

When I’m not on the streets painting murals, I’m in my studio painting on canvas. When I’m not busy with art, I’m spending time with my family.

What is your advice for up-and-coming young artists in South Africa?

Be authentic, tell your story through your art. Don’t get caught up in your own hype and always work on improving your skill!

Tell us more about your relationship with Baz Art?

I started working with Baz Art three years ago for different Apple Music campaigns. We have really grown together. With Baz Art I have had opportunities that I would have otherwise not had. We’ve done work for the Charlize Theron Foundation in New York, for Elon Musk’s cryptocurrency and I’ve also had the privilege to tour across Africa, doing what I love. Baz Art is a wonderful platform that has launched many other artists in the public art space.

Read more: street art, baz art, Disney+

Let's do Biz