In yesterday’s Penang Street Art post, I focused mostly on the official Penang street art scene. Many of those images are found on t-shirts, bags, postcards, and anything else an entrepreneur can sell to a tourist. While those are fun, I also want to show you some of the less publicized pieces. Much of this art would be hard to find if you only spent a day or two here. But since I’m in the enviable position of being able to spend 4 weeks, I’ve been able to get off the standard walking tour path and explore the Penang street art underbelly.
The Graffiti-Style Pieces
There is art of all styles ready to be discovered just about everywhere. One of the most interesting types I found are the graffiti-style pieces. Many of them are very colorful and brighten old walls and gated doorways.
It can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between the graffiti-style art and actual graffiti. Luckily, it makes no difference to me whether it’s an officially sanctioned piece or the work of some rogue spray painting by moonlight. The effect is the same on this art lover.
The Business Pieces
Even the local businesses are attempting to cash in on the trend. By presenting a varied and interesting landscape on their outer walls, they are working to lure art lovers to their neighborhood. Many are are very entertaining pieces and if more people in the area means more customers, all the better.
The Alley Wall Pieces
When wandering one day, we stumbled upon a long dividing wall that split a public alleyway from a large government complex. Each section of the wall had an indented middle that serves as a natural frame for street artists. There were dozens along this single stretch of pavement and while many are old and faded, I still felt they had great beauty.
The Random Other Pieces
There’s so much variation that it’s hard to classify them all. There were many random works that were far from official pieces, couldn’t be classified as graffiti, and weren’t official business promotion as far as I could tell. I think they were just artists creating art.
The Silly Pieces
There’s even lots of silliness sprinkled among the more serious pieces. In other cities, things like this might get painted over. But Penang street art also has a sense of humor, and I appreciated that.
Katie and I are having so much fun in Penang. The city is perfectly set up to wander aimlessly. Between this post and my first one showcasing Penang Street Art, I’ve really only scratched the surface. These are the highlights that I’ve chosen, but I saw lots more than this. George Town is filled with so much street art, cool colonial architecture, and unique museums. There is always something new to see and somewhere new to explore. It’s enough to make me want to embrace their official tourist slogan and shout “I Love Penang”!