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Creation from destruction

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 1:50 am    Post subject: Creation from destruction Reply with quote

April 18, 2005

A Scottish artist who randomly vandalised almost 50 cars as part of a project said the owners should be happy they were involved in his "creative process".

Mark McGowan, 37, will display pictures of himself scratching the paintwork of vehicles in Glasgow and London in an exhibition this week.

He said he had "keyed" 17 cars around the Botanic Gardens in Glasgow's upmarket West End in March and 30 vehicles in Camberwell, south London.

He said: "I pick the cars randomly. What I have been looking at are issues of property and linking it with art and performative action.

"I got the idea when my sister and brother-in-law's cars were keyed. Is it jealousy that causes someone to key a car? Hatred? Revenge? There is a strong creative element in the keying of a car; it's an emotive engagement.

"There is the fear factor, which was an important part of the project. Cars being keyed is a worldwide pandemic at the moment and this should hopefully draw attention to it. Maybe it will enter the mainstream, like graffiti."

His work will be displayed on Wednesday night in a launch party at The Arches, an exhibition venue in Glasgow.

It is the latest in a string of bizarre stunts by the postgraduate in history of art from the prestigious Goldsmiths College in London.

McGowan, who has described himself as "the British alternative to David Blaine", nailed his feet to an art gallery last year - in a protest against leaves.

In 2003, he attracted world media attention when he pushed a monkey nut with his nose for 11 kilometres to 10 Downing Street in a protest against student debt.

In the same year he sat for 12 days in a bath filled with baked beans, with two chips up his nose and sausages wrapped around his head - to defend criticism of the full English breakfast.

He also once rolled himself across London for seven kilometres singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" to highlight the work of office cleaners.

Last year he cooked and ate a fox to draw attention to the plight of "crackheads".

He said of his latest stunt: "I do feel guilty about keying these people's cars but if I don't do it, someone else will and they should feel glad that they've been involved in the creative process."

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