Pang statement:

“YOUR MUM GAY” (2023)

Recently I used my “favourite” local wall scrawl to deface the best painting I’ve ever done.

Every day on my way to my studio, as I worried about how to recreate this classical Van Dyck masterpiece, I passed this little scribble on a pedestrian crossing machine, staring at the words of what I imagine is a teenage boy. Am I projecting? Definitely. Is that sexist? Maybe an elderly lady wrote it. Maybe I sleep-walked and wrote it myself.

The original graffiti is undoubtedly sexist, homophobic and basic as hell. But I can’t help laughing every time I see it, even as a gay woman.

Language is the cornerstone of our entire civilisation. It consolidates our individual, social and national identities, and can either empower or destroy us. These “mouth noises” can move mountains and but disappear into thin air.

But what happens when you take injurious language out of context?

Painting is revered. Graffiti is not. Why is painting at the top of the “art food chain”, when graffiti is as old as mankind? What makes an artist? The graffiti inside a club toilet might have a million private viewers over the years, whereas the art inside a gallery or museum is only accessible for a finite period of time, and for a price.

By memorialising both of these things together, slathering the low-brow onto the high brow, am I making my painting better or worse? Am I empowering myself, or devaluing my painting?

It took 3 months to paint and 8 seconds to destroy. Swipe to the next pic for the original graffiti.

Inspirations for this piece include other artists who hijack text, such as Elijah Daniel, who wrote “The Holy Bible…But Gayer”, artist / poet Richie Culver, and every anonymous graffiti writer and toilet author in the world.

Watch full interview here: