Sharp object in hand, a man scrapes and scratches the hood of a shiny black Jaguar—a symbol of British luxury manufacturing prowess since 1945—and leaves behind a rough rendition of Vincent van Gogh's iconic masterpiece, Starry Night. The man is no average car vandal, but Spanish artist Pejac, an artist who frequently makes headlines for leaving his political ideas in the streets. He's previously commented on issues like the refugee crisis and environmental degradation, but his latest work is a response to Brexit: Don't Look Back in Anger.
The performative sculpture adapts the normally petty action of scratching up a nice car and subverts it into a surprisingly compassionate take on the whole Brexit debacle. On June 23, the UK voted to leave the European Union, a process plagued by widespread claims of ignorance, xenophobia, and the overrepresentation of older voters. The backlash was immediate, with protests gathering in the streets, waving signs with slogans like, "You stole our future from us," and "This Is Suicide." Pejac's response on the surface seems to align with the outrage: carving a British car with an iconic painting from the mainland seems like a reminder of what the UK is leaving behind. But it's more subtle than that. '''Passion can lead us to destroy and in a split second it can push us to create," Pejac tells The Creators Project. "We are unpredictable beings, anger is a necessary emotion.” A representative clarified this as, "Irrational acts are the purest, and they can turn out to be anything we could has thought of. Whether it be vandalizing a car or leaving the EU, the anger reaction is real, all we have left it’s hoping something positive turns out of it."
Don't Look Back in Anger comes in advance of Pejac's first ever major exhibition, Law of the Weakest, which will show at the Londonewcastle Project Space in London from July 22–31st.