Sydney embraces Kanye loving mural

A large mural of US rapper Kanye West seemingly in an embrace with himself in Sydney on March 30, 2016.
A large mural of US rapper Kanye West seemingly in an embrace with himself in Sydney on March 30, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - An Australian artist behind a larger-than-life mural of American rap star Kanye West embracing himself has offered to paint over it - for a sizable fee.

The 6.1m painting dubbed Kanye Loves Kanye features a black-suited image of the singer kissing another version of himself wearing a glittering pantsuit.

Artist Scott Marsh said he decided to paint the image after a friend did a mural of a nude Kim Kardashian selfie at one end of the wall and he wanted to create an artistic "link".

He said he was inspired by the internet meme which followed the infamous red carpet photograph of Kanye embracing Kim Kardashian in which the rapper's head was superimposed on his wife's body.

"It was pretty light-hearted," he told AFP of the mural made on March 19. "I suspect when you paint something big on a wall people tend to take notice of it."

He said he was contacted by someone via e-mail claiming to represent West, asking him to remove the image, although he was not convinced it was genuine.

Marsh, who has been painting on the wall in the Sydney suburb of Chippendale for several years, said he was open to whitewashing the mural for US$100,000 (S$134,000).

Whoever pays the fee will receive a one-off large print of the amorous embrace, in which the image is mostly whited out, an offer Marsh said was open to anyone but may appeal to the global superstar.

"If you pay that I will also paint over the wall," he said.

The mural on Wednesday drew a number of onlookers to the quiet lane, with 22-year-old Stephanie Brown saying she took a short detour to snap the image she said was "a reflection of society".

Mr Quintin Fawcett, a 20-year-old axe and saw maker visiting Australia from New Zealand, said he too was aware of the mural and thought "I might as well come and have a look".

Said Marsh: "It highlights how crazy people are for the cult of celebrity that I can paint a 20-foot mural in Chippendale and it's global news."