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Nadia Fisher, known as Nardstar*, is a multi-faceted artist based in Cape Town. She defines herself as much more than a street artist, as she also paints canvases, customizes sneakers, and creates digital art. Her work is known for her distinct and colorful geometric portraits combined with traditional graffiti lettering.
Nardstar* focuses the content of her work on portraits of women of color, especially in the heart of Cape Town. She believes that “having such a big portrait of a woman of color in this space just shows other women of color that they are allowed to take up [this] space.” Her hope is that someone walking past this mural will see “a little bit of themselves in this woman who is looking so happy and uplifted, and maybe they’ll carry that energy with them into their life.”
Nardstar* believes that art can be a call-to-action, another way to communicate and relay messages to the public. “I think that art can inform people about important issues,” she explains. To that end, her portrait of a South African woman standing beside a majestic lioness speaks to the inner world of women of color. She says that she uses the lions “as a way to show the things that you can’t see from the outside – a woman’s character, her strength, and all those things that you can’t see on the surface.” Her goal is to empower and inspire women to speak up, explore their goals, and fight for the things that they feel are right.
Thinking back to her childhood, Nardstar* reflects that while growing up, young women were told how to behave, creating an atmosphere where they are afraid to speak out. She wants to use her platform to share these messages of empowerment to break down barriers and inspire women of color to speak up and be their authentic selves.
In the heart of Cape Town, Nardstar*’s art acts as a beacon for women of color to show them that they can take up space in the city center.
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