Graffiti Artist WiseTwo Shares and Strives For Wisdom

When you stand before one of WiseTwo’s (real name Bhupi Jethwa) graffiti murals you might be impressed by the sheer amount of detail that has obviously gone into the piece. To WiseTwo himself, however, you can be certain that the mural is about much more than just aesthetic detail.

“It’s very therapeutic, a medicine of sorts for the soul,” WiseTwo said. “I’m constantly rediscovering the purpose of life through graffiti.”

A few months back, we had the opportunity to sit down with the Nairobi-based street artist when he was visiting New York to work on a few projects. Back then, WiseTwo told us about his Bruce Lee-inspired attitude towards style and shared with us his ideas behind the reoccurring theme of masks in his pieces.

"SAVA," one of WiseTwo's most recent pieces in Toronto.

“SAVA,” one of WiseTwo’s most recent pieces in Toronto.

Since then, WiseTwo has been traveling across the globe, building up a network of contacts while adorning the walls of the world with his talent. Most recently, WiseTwo visited Toronto where he represented Nairobi at the first-ever Youthful Cities Global Summit.

“I was only commissioned to do one mural, but I ended up painting two and I also took a trip to finish a mural in Rochester, N.Y.,” WiseTwo said of the summit, which operates in 25 cities worldwide and has as its goal to actualize the ideas of global youth.

Underneath the Sun, Cool of the night Mural Toronto Canada (6 of 1)

“Underneath the Sun, Cool of the Night” in Toronto.

When asked about the backstory to the pieces in Toronto and Rochester, WiseTwo explained that words are unable to describe the spiritual process that instigates while he is painting.

“It is my way of expressing the verbal into a more visual alchemy that only I can understand,” WiseTwo said. “I got in to graffiti art as a form of rebellion, a form of art that comes from within rather than without.”

Resilience of the Soul Mural Side View Rochester, NY (2 of 1)

“Resilience of the Soul” in Rochester, N.Y.

WiseTwo, who is currently preparing for a group show in Tunis on June 5, explained that he always aims to reflect the prime source of artistry in his work: wisdom. Even his pen-name plays on it. But just as the spiritual process of painting, WiseTwo claims that wisdom can never be completely mastered or explained.

“Wisdom is infinite, thus the ‘wise’ from wisdom,” he said about the meaning behind the name WiseTwo. “The ‘two’ represents a sign of humility, no one can ever be number one.”

Check out this recent footage of WiseTwo working on a piece in Brooklyn:

Originally from Sweden, Chris is a journalist with an extensive interest for African culture and the arts.