I have come to realize that Woodstock in Cape Town, South-Africa is filled with so many pieces of unique art that it is going to take me quite a while to document and post about them all. These paintings of wolves all over the Side street studio courtyard in Woodstock, cape toiwn, were done by Dal East. He’s is an artist from China and anyone who spends more than a day in Woodstock will have seen his work on a couple of walls.
DALeast is a Chinese born artist who keeps his name a secret and currently lives and works in Capetown, South Africa. He has been making art since the very young age of three years old. His unusual paintings, which are sometimes hundreds of feet across, look three dimensional and appear to have been created out of thousands of minuscule metal shards. DALeast spends six months of the year travelling and you can find his art on nearly every continent. His works can be seen in Cape Town, Miami, New York and London’s Brick Lane, as well as his native China.
You will find thousands of curly black and white little springy curves forming the shapes of packs of wolves and sprinting cheetahs and swooping eagles taking up walls and rooftops of buildings in the most unexpected places. He studied sculpture at the Institute of Fine Arts and began doing art on public space at 2004 under the alias DAL. He is inspired by the way the material world revolves, how the spiritual world unfolds, life’s emotions and the infinite space around us. He uses different mediums, methods, disciplines and spaces to create his works.
Side Street Studios, also in Woodstock, is a huge supporter of this art form and has given DALEast, free reign on its walls. The dark imagery found in DALeast’s art is undeniably captivating, woven with intricate detail while focusing on the simple subjects in his pieces. Each of his pieces of art is created using paint to look like thousands of metal shards are coming together to form beautiful shapes, often animals or humans. Within every piece of DALeast’s art, a pop of color observed in the background brings his subject to life. This allows him to focus on the intricacy of his technique while delivering his final product.
A majority of DALeast’s art has animals as the subject matter. The “metal shards” make the images appear to leap off the wall or canvas. It is his skillful layering of lines that leads us to be able to visually interpret the image in many different ways. His animals are typically depicted in two disconnected parts, often disintegrating at the centre or falling away at the sides. His use of animals, he says, reflects the human condition.
“In my opinion, animals are like humans. We all live in the same environment; we have the same pressures, emotions and a feeling of insecurity in society. Animals are like society, but are kind of attached to humans,” he says.