Street artists here, who largely differentiate themselves from the city’s hordes of graffiti taggers, say the slow-burning chaos that increasingly characterizes Caracas makes it an ideal place for them to ply their trade. “There’s a great deal of freedom here to do what we want,” said Yaneth Rivas, 27, a member of the same street-art brigade as Mr. Zerpa, called the Communications Liberation Army. Her work, mainly posters placed at bus stops, is more nuanced than Mr. Zerpa’s. She explores, for instance, the polarization of Venezuelan society in one image showing two policemen from different districts of Caracas pointing guns at each other.

Not everyone putting up images on walls here draws support from the government. Saúl Guerrero, a stencil painter who ranks among the city’s most prolific street artists, has painted dozens of melancholic portraits of people around the eastern districts of Caracas, signing them with the nom-de-plume “Ergo.”

“We’re not looking for immortality with our work,” she said. “Our gallery is the street, and that means we have to hope our images spur passers-by to think a little before they disappear.”