Global street art celebrates Nelson Mandela

Compiled by Mary Alexander

From New York and Paris to Tamboerskloof in Cape Town, graffiti artists across the world have paid tribute to the legacy of Nelson Mandela on buildings, walls and bus stops. In celebration of Mandela Month, we bring you a selection.

A mural by well-known artist David Flores in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, as part of the Branded Arts initiative. Image via Springleap.

A psychedelic Mandela by Spanish muralist Eduardo Kobra, also in Los Angeles. Image via Global Street Art.

A close-up of Eduardo Kobra’s Mandela in Los Angeles.

The freedom mural by celebrated Cape Town graffiti artist Mak1one shows South Africa’s journey to democracy over the decades, from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Sam-Saunders Bristol
Mandela’s image on Jamaica Street in Bristol, England. Photo by Sam Saunders.

Portrait of Mandela on the wall of a ruin in St Romain, Rhone-Alpes, France. Photo by Thierry Ehrmann.

Artist Phil Akashi paid tribute to Mandela in Shanghai in 2013 by attaching a seal with the Chinese characters 自由 (meaning “freedom”) to a boxing glove, and punching out a monumental mural with 27 000 blows.

Watch Akashi create the portrait:

On a wall in Spuistraat in central Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Image via Global Graphica.

A close-up of the Amsterdam portrait. Image via Global Graphica.

A portrait by artist Peat Wollaeger at Welling Court in Astoria, Queens, New York. Photo by Lois Stavsky, via Street Art New York.

On rue Denoyez in Paris. Photo by Kate Noakes, Boomslang Poetry.

A tribute to Mandela by graffiti artist Pakone in Brest, France. Photo by Mathieu le Gall, via Street Art Utopia.

Madiba on a bus stop in Tamboerskloof in Cape Town, by street artist Tennille Pillemer.

Unfurling a massive Mandela on the Civic Centre building in the Cape Town CBD. Artwork by Linsey Levendall; photo by Lisa Burnell.

In Stellenbosch, Western Cape. Photo by Mathieu Labaki via Street Art in Cape Town.