Like many artists, the Spanish street artist known only as Pejac started on his artistic path because of dissatisfaction. Not with his childhood growing up, but with his art teacher’s own opinions of what art is, and who should be able to appreciate it. For Pejac, art belongs to everyone, and while his work appears in galleries as well as public space, he’s always sure to give to people who can’t or simply don’t want to walk through a stuffy art gallery.
In an interview with Spanish magazine 20minutos, Pejac discusses that “both melancholy and humour are the locomotive of my works. They create a poetic language whose essence doesn’t rely on simple beauty, but on the hidden side of everything.” It makes sense when you see his work, as much of Pejac’s interest is in this playing with perspective and appearance to both capture attention and spread his messages. Sometimes these messgaes are simply to entertain, other times, as he says in his interview with The Huffington Post, “It’s like I would like my work to produce the same result as when you whisper into someone’s ear. Gentle and discrete – but right into the brain… a whisper in the form of a question.”
Much of Pejac’s work breaks outside the confines of the space to move work beyond its normal boundaries. Some of his gallery work, for example, literally breaks through the frames to create something visually striking but also challenging. Such a convention is a logical extension for a street artist, however, and much of Pejac’s work outside the gallery uses the breaking of normal limits to attract attention and challenge viewpoints. One such piece would be Pejac’s gutter paintings, which feature a stencil of the world getting swept down the drain. The image moves past the frame, as it were, and literally down the drain. The commentary is an immediate one, but the use of space is essential to its message.
But Pejac doesn’t push boundaries in urban spaces, galleries and building walls, he also breaks out into some more unconventional spaces too. The latest and perhaps most ambitious of these projects is Pejac’s recent painting of a boat. No, not a painting of a boat, but painting a rusty and abandoned ship. The piece breaks all manner of convention that fans have come to expect from Pejac, from the playing with perspective to the breaking of frames. The piece is located in Northern Spain on a barnacle-infested old ship. Abandoned to rust on the pier, Pejac decided to paint one of Monet’s most famous impressionist paintings on its side. But the trick, and with Pejac there always seems to be at least one, is the tide. Not simply a Monet recreation on the side of a boat, Pejac’s send up to one of the world’s most famous artists is partially hidden depending on the tide. In this case, the ocean itself reveals and obscures the painting.
Pejac’s work messes with how people assume we should look at art, harkening back to his fateful clash with his childhood art teacher. While most art is made to be appreciated within certain confines, whether that be a literal frame or a more metaphorical frame such as education or class, Pejac seeks to bring art to people by making it look not quite right. And in that, a message and some art for anyone willing to look.