Enoc Perez, Two Thousand Nineteen, 2019. Courtesy the artist | Right: Oldsmobile Toronado advertisement, 1968.
The inspiration for Enoc Perez’s Two Thousand Nineteen came when he saw a news story about a purple Lamborghini, crashed and abandoned in a ditch in north London. The artist was intrigued immediately, seeing the news image as a symbol of fragile masculinity. Perez said that for him, masculinity can be both strong but also intensely delicate. He felt that the driver’s masculinity must have simply disappeared in the instant that the expensive car was left behind.
During 2019, when he was making the work, Perez felt the world was in a frightening state — a period of brilliant technological innovation and progress,, yet also deeply dysfunctional at its core. To Perez, the car really looked like 2019. The climate crisis, pandemic, potential financial depression and the rise of autocratic politicians in 2020 was equally if not more frightening for Perez than 2019.
Enoc Perez, Two Thousand Nineteen, 2019. Courtesy the artist
He sees the work as representative of both years, its meaning evolving as time passes. 'I titled the painting 2019 thinking that the year was a disaster, but after 2020 — I think I'm going to have to change the title.’
Lamborghini found crashed into a ditch in Enfield, March 2019. Photo: SWSN