Madcap Murals: Playful Urban Paintings Interact with 3D Elements

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A wall with a texture reminiscent of a cross-stitch cloth, a rusted shopping cart half-submerged in a river, curbside trash finds and utility boxes all transform into interactive 3D elements of engaging street art pieces by Ernest ‘Zach’ Zacharevic. The Lithuanian-born artist not only takes the surfaces and immediate surroundings into account when planning each mural, but also reflects the culture of the setting for totally unique, spontaneous and yet targeted infusions of color, humor and fun into the urban landscape.

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Zacharevic assesses each location ahead of time, often getting inspiration from the elements already present before prepping as much of each piece as possible in his studio to cut down on outdoor painting time. Components like junked bicycles, busted chairs and peeling wheelbarrows are bolted or glued to the walls so they become an active part of the work – though many of these three-dimensional elements are already part of the urban fabric, and the artist simply integrates them.

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Gestural swipes of dripping spray paint contrast with Zacharevic’s painterly style, contrasting textures and making each mural look like it popped off a gallery canvas to become a part of the larger world. In an interview with DesignBoom, the artist notes that some of these dynamic qualities originate in a fascination with animation and “its ability to bend reality and bring images to life.”

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“I see my work more like a simple moment capturing everyday life rather than an elaborate narrative,” he says. “This seems to work best with the subject of childhood nostalgia, a subject which features often in my work.”