Street artist gets playful at JB cafe

JOHOR BARU - Lithuanian-born and Penang-based artist Ernest Zacharevic has brought his fam­ous "street art" to the walls of a cafe in Taman Molek here.

Johoreans will be able to see four murals outside and in the three-storey outlet when it opens in two days.

Many have already seen the huge signboard depicting a boy doing a handstand at the cafe's entrance but probably not the paintings inside the outlet which is still undergoing construction.

There are two paintings on the ground floor - one near the stairs showing a boy pulling another boy sitting on a coconut frond, while another depicts a boy painting on the wall while a girl walks towards the restroom.

A sawed-up Morris Minor is fixed to the wall upstairs with a painting of children climbing and playing on the black vintage car while a boy balances on a tyre beside it.

Roaster and Cook Sdn Bhd manager Jeffrey Ang said the cafe's owner loves art and spent about RM100,000 (S$38,500) to hire Zacharevic from Penang to draw the murals in November last year.

"The paintings exude playfulness and the innocence of young children, which is Zacharevic's signature, and we believe that the drawings will be one of the attractions of our outlet," he said when met here yesterday.

Ang said the owner gave Zach­arevic total freedom to paint what he liked.

"We just followed his ideas like when he asked us to look for a black Morris Minor to be installed on the wall.

"He showed us some sketches for us to choose from and he completed the paintings in nine days or so," Ang said.