While Cape Town-based graffiti artist Falko One has been creating traditional hip-hop street art since 1989, he became inspired in recent years to use his art to encourage optimism in South Africa. With elephants as the focal point of his street art, he painted an outdoor gallery like no other across South Africa.
"South Africa is a country that has so much diversity in culture, language, and race," Falko One wrote to A Plus. "The diversity has so much to give to our society, but it is also the sword that divides. Elephants (very unintentionally) have become a neutral element. I can place them in any part of society and they will become a talking point. Relatively, communities have their discussions about it — and that is what I want. The idea of painting them in poor areas is important to me. Art in poor communities is not a priority. The people love it and want it, but it's food, clothes, and medicine versus something pretty."
The elephants were part of his Once Upon a Town project, which took place throughout numerous South African communities from May to October 2015.
"The small towns and rural communities are the backbones of any country," he wrote to A Plus. "I've seen how these images have planted the seed of not only joy but of pride in the home owners and community at large. No matter how dilapidated or broken their homes are, when I`m done, I always hear them boasting and saying 'mines the best.' That is a change in the perception of value. Just like charity, your worth starts at home. And that seed that is planted is the foundation a community."
Here 13 examples of Falko's incredible elephant street art.