The Star – Malaysian artist transforms road signs into art packed with irony and humour
In response to queries on a censored artwork a few years ago, Izat Arif made a speed limit sign, not unlike those you see on the back of a lorry. This was his first attempt at appropriating signs.
Gentle Reminders, his current solo exhibition with Richard Koh Fine Art in Kuala Lumpur, continues this exploration with a new body of work dedicated to signs.
Executed in a super flat finish using automotive paint techniques, the works are instantly recognisable as a replica of common signage. But it is the accompanying text, served with a heavy dose of irony, that offers a tweak on what looks, at first glance, like everyday.
“You should not burden yourself with the thought of making a masterpiece. Instead, draw a portrait of your collector for fun, ” reads one “sign”.
In another, “‘Oppressed’ artist takes opportunity to express their unfortunate circumstances safely in the gallery”.