Interview: Pejac

Barcelona-based fine artist, Pejac, will be hosting his first ever major exhibition at the Londonewcastle Project Space, London from 22nd to 31st July 2016.
This will be the first time that the world-renowned artist has hosted a major global exhibition. Pejac is known for his socially and environmentally-charged work, such as his recent series in a Palestinian and Syrian refugee camp in Jordan.
Pejac’s ‘Law Of The Weakest’ exhibition is being preceded with a number of street-based installations by the artist in East London. ‘Downside Up’ is on three locations in Shoreditch, (Redchurch Street, Shacklewell Street and Granby Street), with the simple intention of igniting imagination in those who walk passed.

ThroneYou’re known for your works that feature social and environmental messages. Why are these issues important to you?
These issues are important to me for the same reason these should be important for everybody, I approach these themes because for me they define the world we live in and I feel strongly that the issues need to be confronted.

Through my work I connect with people who are already aware of what is happening, and I hope to connect with people who are perhaps unaware, or uncaring of these issues.  
For me, art it is not a way to escape from the world conflicts but to actually connect with them. 

What reactions to your work have pleased you the most over the years?
The reactions I like the most come from the people I wouldn’t expect; it means I have reached someone who I wasn’t necessarily aware of.

Weather positive or negative, if my work gets the attention from every man or woman going about his or her day then I feel I have achieved something.

Pejac in London

Which artists inspire you and why?
My inspiration comes from everywhere, what inspires me most are human beings, in their brightest and darkest moments and the relationships in the world we’re in.

I would say that while not paying attention to anything, I am paying attention to everything, so everything is my inspiration.

You have become known for being quite secretive (as you work incognito and clearly prefer your art to speak for itself). Why is this?
I don’t hide but I do try to avoid interfering with the work and how it is viewed, I want the artwork to speak for itself.

Mothers & Artists in JordanMany people will recognize the work you completed in Palestinian and Syrian refugee camps in Jordan. What can you tell us about why you visited and why it was important to you to complete your work there?
My main intention was to bring creativity to the camps for the refugees to enjoy.

Today, I feel the conflict is very much seen as East vs. West. The way I see it is that there’s good and bad in most stories, which shouldn’t keep one from speaking out. I also feel that there is an isolation with this part of the world, there is a perception of it being far away and that the people are not like ‘everyone’, so I felt we had to go there, to know these people as people.

We’ve heard you have completed a new installation in East London. What is it called and what is the meaning behind it?
I don’t believe that you have to be creative to have an imagination, I wanted this work to encourage a different view of reality.

The work isn’t about the shoes and the territory that they mark, but the change of perspective through the apparent loss of gravity. It is a simple way to look at something, like a child might, with opportunity and imagination. Bringing some fantasy to our daily lives.

Downside Up

Did any special event or place inspire the work?
Truth be told, my iPhone fell while I was looking at a picture of shoes on a wire, and voilá!

Your show is called ‘Law of the Weakest’ – explain what this means.
I think it is time for the ‘weakest’ to impose their laws, and by weakest I mean 99.9% of our society, the  every man and woman.

How would you describe the works can we expect to see at the show
These artworks reflect the last two years of my life, coherent through the drama or romance seen within it but not necessarily along the same narrative, they all have a touch surrealism which is not intended to denounce the importance of the issues but as a way to soften them. Although, sadly, despite the impossible ideas or situations they can often end up becoming real, despite how improbable or bizarre they seemed while painting them.

It’s when art and reality collide, but reality is reaching new and unexpected extremes, so art needs to find new paths and expressions or forms in order to transcend.

Gas..Who are you aiming this exhibition at?
The exhibition is truly aimed for everybody.

I like to think that my work is universal and can engage with a very wide audience. I try not to be too conceptual, with the aim of reaching everyone, even people who think they have no interest in art. Through producing my work in public spaces I hope that it is not elitist nor exclusive and achieves this.  

You are an independent and self-produced artist and you’ve chosen to exhibit at an event space rather than a gallery. Why is this?
The reason I enjoy creating artwork on the street is because of the freedom I have to do it. All my work is self-produced and I remain independent from any gallery, despite this being a huge risk, for me this is the perfect environment for me to create work, having full control in the whole process. 

I don’t wish to follow the old art market rules. 

Are they all new works?
Yes, all works are new and specifically made for this exhibition. I’ve been working on this for about two years now. The exhibition will feature both installations and artworks in all manner of mediums.


Why did you choose London as the first city to host a major exhibition of your work?
London is an international leader in both fine and urban art. As a multicultural place I feel that Londoners have been key in making a city that is incredibly culturally rich.

For me it is an artistically iconic city where some of the best artwork has been created.

Are you planning any big exhibitions in other cities (in the UK or otherwise)?
I’ll be most likely doing the next one in LA or NYC.

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