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We profile the incredible Ernest Zacharevic

Lithuanian-born Ernest Zacharevic, better known as "Zachas" in the street art world, currently resides and works in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia.

His light-hearted murals and iconic imagery have adorned a wide variety of urban surfaces in the city of Penang, and have earned him the deferential title of "Malaysia's Banksy". Zachas largely draws his inspiration from his surroundings, and considers much of his artwork to be influenced by the people and things that he sees every day.

Ernest Zachas’s street work encompasses sensitivity to context and environment, breaking the two-dimensional plane of graffiti by incorporating real-life objects into the composition. The majority of Zachas's subjects depict children at play as a celebration of the innocence and exuberance of life.

One of the artist's most popular works features two shopping carts adjacent to a wall that has been painted to look as if small children are playing in the carts.

Zachas's beautifully executed street murals have become immensely popular throughout Malaysia, and on occasion they have earned the artist quite a bit of notoriety and controversy.

In one instance, Zachas painted a Lego-themed mural on a building in Johor Baru, a Malaysian border city that is known for its high crime rate, as well as for being the new locale of Southeast Asia's only Legoland theme park. The mural depicts a Lego-inspired smiling female character carrying a Chanel bag and walking towards the street corner, around which a sinister, knife-wielding, masked Lego character is hiding and awaiting to strike. Photos of the mural subsequently went viral on the Internet, and city officials quickly whitewashed the image, stating that it amounted to "vandalism" and could send the wrong message about the city to potential tourists and travellers.

A natural talent and an incredible imagination has allowed Ernest Zacharevic to blossom in the street art world. His swift rise has not been a surprise in Penang. Zacha’s work has been a fixture in the Malaysian Art World for several years, building an impressive client list of recognised and high-income individuals.

Browse our selection of Ernest Zacharevic Prints & Originals. Please contact us for forthcoming Zacharevic art releases.

(Photo credits: Cindy, Christian H, Est 1953, Lightmeister)