Key Scratch Artist

Mark McGowan is an artist, and his canvas is other people's cars. His paintbrush is a key. He goes around town scratching his 'artwork' on random people's cars. At least, that's what he claimed. Now he's admitted the whole thing is a hoax:

An artist who claimed to have vandalised nearly 50 cars in the name of art has admitted it was a stunt. Mark McGowan, 37, said he had taken pictures of himself scratching vehicles' paintwork in Glasgow and London as part of a project. But the London performance artist has since admitted the cars were already "keyed" and the photos were "staged". He said it had been an art project that had gone "horribly wrong" and said he was "very, very sorry".
"I never keyed any cars...the whole thing has just been a nightmare," he added.

I actually think it's a pretty clever idea for a hoax. It's so outrageous, and yet at the same time easy to believe an artist might actually do this. Some of McGowan's other stunts also sound, um, interesting:

In 2003, he used his nose to push a monkey nut seven miles to 10 Downing Street in protest against student debt. He also rolled on pavements for four miles across London singing Christmas carols to highlight the work of office cleaners.

(Thanks to Andrew for the link)


Posted on Tue Apr 19, 2005


I am now asking myself why I didn't mention this in my posting: I read it in the paper and everything.

Oh yeah, I was drunk when I read the paper and wasn't concentrating.
Ah well.

I'm not really big on Mark McGowan.
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Tue Apr 19, 2005  at  08:13 AM
Drunk, you?
Posted by LaMa  in  Europe  on  Tue Apr 19, 2005  at  01:12 PM
You didn't know? Boo has a "problem". Of course, when you get married it'll be your problem.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Tue Apr 19, 2005  at  01:22 PM
I remember the news stories on the peanut stunt. Interesting in that he's probably the only person ever to have done exactly that, yet what point he was trying to make about student debt was never very clear.
"I'd rather push a peanut seven miles with my nose than pay back my student loans," maybe?
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Tue Apr 19, 2005  at  02:02 PM
Charyb, when Winona marries you, she will have a mighty big problem....

But I should have known, after all, Boo is from Scotland. This also explains her dislike of bagpipes; who can stand a bagpipe during a hangover...

(for those at a loss now; read the thread "squirrel tagging" in the Hoax forum).

Luckily, my father was an alcoholic, and I've had my bout I know how to deal with it. Like I said; Boo, we need to talk...
Posted by LaMa  in  Europe  on  Tue Apr 19, 2005  at  02:10 PM
It would seem as if the burden of "proving" that he was hoaxing everyone is now on him. He went public saying that it was him, now anyone in the area who wants a new paintjob can just go and key their stuff and charge him for the new paint job. And of course he's going to say..."But I didn't really do it!" when he starts getting bills / sued. Whether he did or not. Not a very bright lad it would seem...
Posted by Mark-N-Isa  in  Midwest USA  on  Tue Apr 19, 2005  at  04:12 PM
It's difficult to think of a more poorly thought out hoax than to take credit for a criminal activity when you did not do it.
Posted by Chadds Ford Prefect  on  Tue Apr 19, 2005  at  07:06 PM
Anyone who wants to demonstrate their art on my car with a key will quickly find out that I'm an artist with a baseball bat and a stungun, and I am happy to demonstrate my technique for them....
Posted by Barghest  on  Tue Apr 19, 2005  at  07:23 PM
So "monkey nut" is British for "peanut"?
Posted by Lydie  on  Wed Apr 20, 2005  at  09:27 PM
Lydie, peanut is British for peanut. I was under the impression that Americans call them monkey nuts...
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Thu Apr 21, 2005  at  02:56 AM
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