I was lucky enough to see the show of Ernest Zacharevic a few months ago in Barcelona at the Montana Gallery. I have a postcard of his work on my wall for some inspiration and wanted to share his work with you. I found a great interview with him on the Brooklyn Street Art blog…
Many of your pieces include play and more specifically, children at play. How important is that theme for you and what attracts you to it?
Most of my work is photography based and site-specific, so I photograph my subjects and later choose angles for painting. Working with children allows more anonymity, I don’t consider my artworks to be portraits of a specific person, rather a universal experience. It is also easier to work with children – they are not self-concious and are not afraid to look stupid or ugly. So we play together and I take pictures that later translate into my artwork. I really like this unrestricted energy.
You have been traveling a lot in the last year – where have you gone and can you talk about one of your favorite experiences on the street with your work?
I do travel a lot. Japan, Italy, Norway, Lithuania, Malaysia – to name few places I’ve been this year. At the moment I am based in Penang, Malaysia, but originally I come from Vilnius, Lithuania and I graduated from Middlesex University, London where I lived for 5 years. My artwork is heavily influenced by all these layers of geographical backgrounds.
Probably the most memorable project I’ve done so far is Mirrors George Town murals that I created for George Town Festival in 2012. The murals became so popular that they started having a life of it’s own – there are people lining up to take pictures with it and Malaysian Government recognized them as valuable tourist objects. Crazy! It was even copied by one Chinese town near Shanghai. It is really nice for an artist to realize that his piece of work means so much to other people.
Many of your characters have mischief in their eyes and their actions. Are you getting into trouble in Stavanger?
I wish, but the weather is taking it’s toll. Stavanger is great! Everywhere you go there are traces of street art and amazing murals round the corner, places you would never expect to see it. It really inspires me to do a few smaller pieces if the Norwegian summer will be kind to me tomorrow.
Can you talk about using wheeled forms of transportation in your vignettes – bicycles, shopping carts, rickshaws… do you use them to create a sense of movement?
Yes! It’s a part of play, but also a wider narrative about the continuous desire by human beings to travel, push forward, explore unknown horizons. Cars and bicycles and tricycles were invented because just walking is too slow to most of our imagination. That is way my main installation for Nuart 2013 will feature a car – half sliced – continuing the theme of my previous work.
Sometimes you integrate something that is already on the street or the wall into your piece. Do you find yourself doing this mentally as you walk through the streets?
I find everyday objects to be fascinating. Signs that look like animals, doors that smile, little holes in the wall that look like part of a Tom & Jerry cartoon. It’s fun and I love to reveal this to other people just to make them smile.