Spanish street artist Pejac is known for using trompe l’oeil to create innovative artworks that are as beautiful as they are thought-provoking. For his first time in New York City, the artist looked at nature through two different lenses. One piece is a mind-bending illusion where Pejac seems to mold bricks into a tree, while another sees a cherry tree breaking through a metal shutter.
For Fossil, Pejac uses a simple, rectangular stencil to strategically add shadows to the side of a building in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Transforming the bricks like a piece of pin art, the outline of a tree emerges. It’s a stunning 3D illusion that also serves as a warning of what may happen if we aren’t careful about how we conserve nature. If we’re not careful, we may find ourselves surrounded by fossils of these forgotten trees.
His second piece, located in Chinatown, takes an opposing perspective. With Inner Strength, Pejac shows the triumph of nature over man-made materials. The delicate, hand painted, branch of a cherry tree bursts forth from behind a metal shutter. Taking the composition to the next level, Pejac creates the illusion that a second shutter is slightly raised, allowing birds to fly up and perch on the blooming branches. Here, we are reminded that nature can be unstoppable.
These hypothetical futures played out across New York City remind us that street art continues to be a powerful creative and political voice. In invading the public space, Pejac forces city dwellers to stop, watch, and think. For in the end, only we can decide which future will become a reality.