GEORGE TOWN, April 4 — Almost obscured by overgrown plants and weeds, on a crumbling wall with debris strewn all over the floor, you’ll find a stenciled figure and face of a baby surrounded by pink flower petals.
A few vacant, crumbling pre-war shophouses in George Town on Jalan Maxwell near the iconic Komtar have become the favoured spot for some international street artists to showcase their works; everything from stencils to more complicated spray-painted works.
The artists, about 15 of them, are in Penang for the Different Strokes street art exhibition — a collaborative project by Hin Bus Depot Art Centre and UK’s Graffiti Prints — and they simply could not resist the peeling walls of the inner city buildings.
Over at Chulia Street, on the wall of Chulia Mansion, there is now a mural of a girl on a turtle which is a collaborative work between Ernest Zacharevic and Argentinian artist Martin Ron.
Ron also had a hand in painting a large-scale mural over in Butterworth on a wide expanse of wall along a row of shoplots at Jalan Raja Uda.
Another street artist, Sabek from Spain, also painted a large mural on a wall of the shoplots along Jalan Raja Uda.
The artists — Icy and Sot (Iran/NYC), Martin Whatson (Norway), Beejoir (UK), Alexface (Thailand), Muebon (Thailand), Snik (UK), Nafir (Iran), Sabek (Spain), Levalet (France), Roamcouch (Japan), Gabriel Pitcher (UK) and Martin Ron (Argentina) — also have their printed and original works featured in the Hin Bus Depot Art Centre.
It is Iranian artist Nafir’s first art show away from his country and he couldn’t resist the temptation to spray paint as many street art as he possibly could.
“I painted so many that Giancarlo (Petrucci of Graffiti Prints) told me to stop painting,” he said.
Hin Bus Depot’s Gabija Grusaite said there are about 10 locations all around the state identified for the artists to spray or paint their works.
One of the popular spots is Nagore Square, which was also used in the previous art exhibition by Hin Bus Depot — Urban Exchange.
Some of the works are spread out with some just around Hin Bus Depot including a large piece at the SK Tan Sri P. Ramlee by Muebon and Alexface just next to the art centre.
Different Strokes is on until April 19.