Inspired by an upbringing surrounded by enthusiastic car modifiers, aberrant working-class hoons, and an absurdly exuberant TV program dedicated to ‘pimping’ out derelict dregs of cars, Pimp My Ride: Delusions of Four-Wheeled Grandeur is a project that tailgates into the intersections of reality TV, car culture, class and art. My childhood was riddled with septic televisual experiences, namely 2000’s throwaway American reality shows, and that has fuelled a new sense of curiosity, an urgency to investigate what’s behind the veil of television and media. The TV program of interest, Pimp My Ride is evidently the most palatable media depiction of car culture.

Each episode of Pimp My Ride would focus on the extreme process of transforming a shoddy car into an unrecognisable four-wheeled eyesore, ridden with extreme modifications such as neon candy paint jobs, hydraulics, LED lights, TV screens and video game consoles, and even pianos and slot machines. Practically anything imaginable to the aspirational everyday individual could be manifested into reality with the help of the boys behind Pimp My Ride.

The reality of car culture is that it holds a heavy stigma, and many car enthusiasts are written off as delinquent adrenaline-junkie hoons, which, by definition is a reckless hooligan who drives carelessly. The ‘hoons’ I know are passionate working-class individuals who hold great aspirations to forging eye-catching vehicles that proudly present an extension of their identity, and yet, higher-class figures overlook and condemn them relentlessly.

Oil painting of three passengers in the red interior of a car.

Lilyan Stark – Pimp My Ride II (2022)
[oil on canvas] 45.5 x 60.5 cm.

Gallery room of a box TV, speakers, a painting of three people, a painting of a car, car parts scattered that are painted with ornamental flames, as well as a hanging chain covered in pine-tree air-fresheners.

Gallery space of a box TV and a painting of three people, nearby is a chain hanging with several pine-tree air-fresheners.

Lilyan Stark – Shitbox Manifesto II (2022)
[installation/sculpture] dimensions variable.
Image credit: Indra Liusuari

Sculptural work including a chain-hanged car part with a decorative racing flag air-freshener, underneath is a panel-beating magazine.

Lilyan Stark – Shitbox Manifesto (2022)
[sculpture] dimensions variable.



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Lilyan Stark