Street artist ABOVE, known for various site specific pieces & fantastic word plays, recently traveled to Johannesberg, Africa, which is home to Jewel City â "a six-block mega-precinct that serves as a base for some 300 diamond traders as well as South Africaâs Diamond Board and State Traders Association" and "the largest diamond exporter in the southern hemisphere with over R7-Billion worth of Diamonds being exported every year." ABOVE decided to use this venue to make a statement about blood diamonds, a term that "refers to a diamond mined in a war zone and then sold to finance an invading army's war efforts, usually in Africa where more than two-thirds of the worlds diamonds are extracted."
According to ABOVE:
I was able to get away with this diamond wall heist because I told the owners I would paint in big letters "Diamonds are a woman's best friend" on the exterior of their building. The owners loved the idea and all quickly agreed.
The next day I had started painting but what the owners didn't know is that I lied to them and was hijacking their wall. Like any premeditated robbery, situations are not what they seem and shit can flip from best friends to worst enemies in a few moments.
I assume the owners were too busy trading diamonds inside the mega centre they never took the time to come out and see I was painting a controversial word play about the diamond trade and how it's fueled so much bloodshed in wars making it one of man's worst enemies.
This site specific word play by ABOVE, in the end, reads: "Diamonds are a woman's best friend and a man's worst enemy."
Images are courtesy of the Arrested Motion blog. Words courtesy of the artist, as posted to his Vimeo account.
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