We have been given a remarkable honour to contribute to a narrative that has lasted almost 100 years; one that has been engaged with by so many incredible artists who have come before us.

It has been a collaboration of immense responsibility and visual consideration. It is the first time that Mickey Mouse has been interpreted outside of the Western norms.

As such our artists have fully immersed themselves in the culture of Mickey Music while creating an undisputed African Mickey Mouse aesthetic through their visual narrative.

It took months of planning and just over 2 weeks of diligent work and we were able to produce an authentic experience of the Mickey Mouse Brand with an Art Eye sensibility.

#MickeyMouse sculptures were delivered by @disneyafrica @disney to #ArtEyeGallery under the strictest secrecy for a collaboration with 10 local artists who were given the opportunity to turn Mickey into an African celebration for his 90th birthday.
#TrevorColeman #NikaMtwana #ColbertMashile #LouisVanDenHeever #WelcomeDanca #CassiusKhumalo #DominicTshabangu #ToniBico #PhumzileButhelezi #LeeScottHempson
#ArtEyeGallery #DisneySA #mickey90Africa www.arteye.co.za

10 SA Artists lend their unique take on the global icon


Johannesburg, 26 September 2018 – Today Disney Africa, in association with Art Eye Gallery, launched the Mickey the True Original Art Collaboration where ten six-foot Mickey Statues where unveiled, each brought to life by ten highly talented South African artists.

Each statue has been designed, painted and crafted to show each artist’s unique take on Mickey Mouse, who is celebrating his 90th anniversary this year. From vivid colour palettes, spray paint graffiti stylings, to pantsula outfits and shweshwe prints, each interpretation is a celebration of the global icon in a truly proud South African way.

The ten artists include Cassius Khumalo, Colbert Mashile, Dominic Tshabangu, Lee Scott Hempson, Louis van den Heever, Nika Mtwana, Phumzile Buthelezi, Toni Bico, Trevor Coleman and Welcome Danca.

“For nine decades, Mickey Mouse has bound generations together more than any other animated character. His iconic status and global appeal has also inspired countless artists over the decades,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and Country Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “The Mickey the True Original Art Collaboration continues this inspiration, but with a truly South African interpretation of Mickey’s charm and universal appeal.”

“No matter what age, every person has a connection with Mickey Mouse and, when Disney approached Art Eye to collaborate on this venture, we were thrilled to be given the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Damien Hirst, Diego Rivera and so many more who were inspired by this character,” comments Ty Selmon, Director of Art Eye Gallery. “To give this unique local take on Mickey allows us to give him an honorary South African status, bringing to life the unique and eye catching interpretation, sights and imagery that only this country can produce.”

Fans will be able to see the statues in real life as they travel the country as part of the Mickey the True Original South African Exhibition, inspired by Mickey’s status as a ‘true original’ and his global impact on popular culture. The exhibition will travel to 3 cities and delight fans and families alike as they journey with Mickey over the years. Featuring 4 sections highlighting Mickey’s innovation, his evolution, influence on fashion and also pop culture, the exhibition is in collaboration with Samsung and Edgars, and will visit:
o Sandton City, Centre Court: 28 September – 14 October
o Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Expo Explore Court: 19 October – 11 November
o Canal Walk Shopping Centre. Centre Court: 16 November – 26 November

The Mickey The True Original campaign includes a series of global festivities honouring nine decades of Mickey Mouse, his heritage, personality and status as a pop-culture icon. In South Africa, a number of initiatives are underway to join these celebrations including the exhibition, a two-hour star-studded special to air on M-Net 101 later in the year, amazing retail activations and more.

Mickey’s birthday is celebrated in honour of the release of his first theatrical film, Steamboat Willie, on 18th November 1928, at the Colony Theatre in New York City. Since then, he has starred in more than 100 cartoons and can currently be seen on Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303) in the Mickey Mouse cartoon series and on Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309) in Mickey and the Roadster Racers.