Disney+ South Africa has teamed up with local Johannesburg mural artist Dbongz Mahlati to create a proudly South African mural celebrating the much anticipated and critically acclaimed third season of the original, live-action series from Lucasfilm, Star Wars: The Mandalorian that is now streaming exclusively on Disney+.
Dbongz Mahlathi is a street artist from the West of Johannesburg who 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.
Dbongz shares his thought process and creative ideation behind the mural that can be viewed next to the Gautrain station in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
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 Star Wars: Mandalorian Season 3 artwork?
Beads are a huge part of South African culture, we have used these for various spiritual and decorative reasons, they also unite the different tribes in our country. The idea was to create something that brings The Mandalorian home to SA and make it relatable to us.
How did you merge your design aesthetic and style with that of Star Wars: The Mandalorian season 3?
I did that by capturing 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, STRENGTH and UNITY.
Where can people go and check out the Star Wars: The Mandalorian mural design?
They can check it 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.
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 monetize their craft, making it easier for us to make a living.
What do you want the public to take away from your Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 3 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 artist 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 3 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.
Tell us more about Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 3
The adventures of the Mandalorian as he journeys through the Star Wars galaxy continue in Season 3 of the acclaimed, Emmy®-winning Star Wars series “The Mandalorian.” In the new season, Din Djarin, once a lone bounty hunter, has been reunited with Grogu, a child of Yoda’s species whom he rescued and subsequently turned over to Luke Skywalker at the end of Season 2. As the New Republic struggles to lead the galaxy away from its dark history, the Mandalorian crosses paths with old allies and makes new enemies as he and Grogu continue their journey together.
Where can people watch Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 3?
The original, live-action series from Lucasfilm is currently streaming exclusively on Disney+.