The city of Lisbon, Portugal is known to urban art admirers as a safe harbor for street art and graffiti writers, both Portuguese and international. Lisbon is also a place where Ernest Zacharevic, Lithuanian-born visual artist is currently in residency, preparing for his The Floor is Lava solo exhibition hosted by the Underdogs Gallery. Through the courtesy of street art photographer Henrik Haven, we were provided with some of the latest photographs of Ernest Zacharevic at work and, therefore, we have this great opportunity to cover the story of Ernest Zacharevic’s recent street art engagements in Lisbon, as well as behind the scenes preparations for the upcoming exhibition.
The independent photographer, Henrik Haven documents exciting events in the urban and contemporary art scene all over the world, and his contributions can be seen in many of the leading magazines covering this particular subject. He recently had the opportunity to photograph some other notable street artists at work, during the Søren Solkær’s SURFACE World Tour in Copenhagen, Denmark and this coverage was featured in one of our recent articles. At the moment, Henrik Haven is in Lisbon following the work of Ernest Zacharevic, whom he had the opportunity to meet during the Art is Rubbish/Rubbish is Art exhibition in Penang. These days they are brought together once more for the Lithuanian artist’s Lisbon-debut show and the results are these amazing photos of the artist creating his pieces.
Ernest Zacharevic first caught the eye of the bigger audience after his large mural works in the city of Penang, Malaysia, where he is permanently based. However, his works can be seen worldwide from Hawaii to LA and Singapore, bringing extraordinary portrayals of children at play, a theme that came to be the trademark of this young artist. Ernest Zacharevic is currently visiting Lisbon and be sure that he isn’t wasting his time just waiting for the exhibition to open. Last week he created two new pieces on the walls of Lisbon and Henrik Haven was there to cover the entire process of their making. The first piece brings out the image of the sardine, a fish that holds an iconic status in Lisbon’s culinary culture. The other is a portrait of a boy crossing the pre-existing yellow buff line, placed as a way of buffing graffiti instead of repairing or painting the entire wall. These artworks follow the line of Zacharevic’s realistic and detailed representations of subjects that look almost alive, as they could leave the walls at any time and take a walk on their own through the streets of the Portuguese capital. Well, at least the boy, the same doesn't really apply for the sardine.
The Floor is Lava exhibition brings out Ernest Zacharevic’s recognizable imagery inspired by the playfulness of childhood experiences. Title The Floor is Lava alludes to the well-known children’s game in which participants imagine that the floor is made of burning lava or other lethal materials, trying to avoid the inevitable ‘burns’ by climbing on the nearby furniture. This foolish and innocent spirit of childhood imagination and nostalgic remembrance of infantile periods of life is what occupies the visual language of Ernest Zacharevic in most of his works and will be explored once more in his solo exhibition through different forms and techniques from oil paintings to origami sculptures and editions exclusively available from Underdogs Gallery.
The exhibition starts on July 17th, 2015. The opening reception, with the artist in attendance, is scheduled for the same day from 6 pm to 9 pm. The exhibition will be on view until July 31st and then again, after the summer break, from 1st of September through September 19th, 2015. The Floor is Lava will run for more than a month in total so there is plenty of time to visit the Underdogs Gallery and recollect the memories of your childhood through the artistic vision of Ernest Zacharevic.
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Henrik Haven - Ernest Zacharevic's Boy Interacting With Buff Line - 2015, detail
Henrik Haven - Ernest Zacharevic's Sardine Artwork - 2015, detail
All images courtesy of Henrik Haven
Scroll down for more Ernest Zacharevic’s work seen through the lens of Henrik Haven!
London, United Kingdom