Ernest Zacharevic (Lithuania) Ernest “ZACH” Zacharevic, born 1986 in Lithuania, is a multidiscipline contemporary and public artist based in Penang, Malaysia. Zacharevic creates oil paintings, installations, sculptures and stencil and spray paint to produce culturally relevant compositions both inside gallery space and in the arena of public art and walls. His interest in the outdoor pieces is in the interaction between mural and the urban landscape, with concepts arising as part of a spontaneous response to the
In 2012, Zacharevic received worldwide recognition after creating a series of six street art murals for the George Town Culture festival in Penang, Malaysia, with the BBC calling him Malaysia’s answer to Banksy, depicting scenes of everyday Malaysian life using local people as models. The two most popular are Children on Bicycle and Boy on Motorcycle; a combination of installation and painting allows the outside community to interact with the works. These murals now stand as cultural landmarks in Georgetown, complete with plaques and constant cues of people waiting to have their photographs taken with the works.
Zacharevic held his first solo show in Penang in 2012 at the Hin Bus Depot, a center for arts and culture located in Georgetown Art is Rubbish Rubbish is Art. A collection of 30 plus works painted on reclaimed and found materials. In 2013 Zacharevic received viral attention for his on-street work with the controversial lego mural in Johor Bahru, home to Malaysian “Legoland”. Using the lego figures, Zacharevic comments on the violent state of JB, positioning them on a street corner, as a woman carrying a Chanel bag approaches, a masked villain waits around the corner for her. The piece was buffed over quickly, but not before the image went viral, with thousands of people showing their support for the mural and the serious statement it was making.
Zacharevic also painted a series of murals in Singapore, one of the most restrictive countries in the world in terms of Street art. He created Children in Shopping Trolleys and one of his most iconic concepts Style Wars. The piece sees two duelling children about to engage in combat with mops and brooms upon crayon illustrated horses.
Recent projects include Scope New York which saw works ascended in the Dean Collection, a private collection of works owned and maintained by Swizz Beats and recently completed a live painting commission at the Ritz Carlton Singapore; a Mondrian inspired piece composed of a series of framed canvases all hung together. Children climb through and around the iconic lines with their spray paint and oil painted forms. The original inspiration for this piece came a year before when he painted a mural of this concept for Living Walls in Atlanta.
Zacharevic is working on a collaborative project with New York photographer Martha Cooper, reimagining some of her most iconic photographs from the past three decades on walls across the city from Bushwick, Brooklyn to Manhattan’s upper west side. The project is called REPLAY, #ReplayNYC.
In May 2016, Zacharevic went to Christmas Island, an Australian Territory in the Indian Ocean at the invitation of Christmas Island Phosphates and the local Shire government for a scoping trip to beautify the island landscape. He left behind his first ever Australian art installation with ‘Forklift Boy,’ near a local tavern. An abandoned forklift adjacent to a shipping container provided the canvas for the piece. It is similar in aesthetic to his Boy and Girl on a Bike and Boy on a Motorbike art installations in Georgetown, Penang
In this mural Ernest Zacharevic figured a little child – maybe a girl but it could also be a boy – riding on Bambi. He seems quite surprised but the child is having fun. On the far bottom left Thumper, the rabbit, is looking at the scene quite mocking.