Vuse and McLaren Formula 1 Team's Driven by Change initiative spotlights the emerging Colombian muralist’s work during the iconic F1 eventVuse
The Monaco beachfront is widely considered one of the most glamorous places on Earth, and the Monaco Grand Prix – a race that sees Formula 1 drivers compete around its narrow city streets – is one of the most prestigious events in the elite motorsport calendar. Understandable, then, that an emerging artist would jump at the chance to have their work take centre stage at the 2022 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.
At least, that was the reaction of the 38-year-old Colombian street artist DAST, when Vuse and McLaren Formula 1 Team approached him to paint a large-scale mural in real-time over the Monaco Grand Prix weekend beginning May 28. “From the very beginning, this project has been so exciting… a truly life-changing experience!” DAST tells Dazed. “To be able to create a new piece of art, in such an iconic place as Monaco, is truly mind-blowing.”
DAST has been pursuing a career in art and design for over ten years, in which time he has developed a “bold, abstract and geometric” personal style that draws upon the varied geography and rich culture of his home country – a stark contrast to the A-list glitz of Monaco. However, he says that he never imagined that he would be given the opportunity to follow his dream of working as an artist full-time.
The chance to exhibit his artwork at the apex of the racing world is the latest result of an ambitious joint programme launched by Vuse and McLaren Formula 1 Team in 2021 (when the latter unveiled a one-off livery designed by Dubai-based artist Rabab Tantawy). Named Driven by Change, the collaboration between the world’s number one global vape brand* and the motorsport institution aims to open doors for underrepresented creatives, tell stories that often go unheard, and foster talent in creative industries that can often feel opaque and exclusive.
“I still cannot believe this is happening to me!!!” DAST says of the project. “Over the last six months, my dream has finally become a reality. I have been able to create my artwork on one of the world’s most exclusive canvases. This experience is life-changing and I will never forget it.”
This isn’t to say that DAST was selected out of the blue for the Grand Prix mural. In fact, the artist’s interest in Formula 1 started when the legendary Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montaya was making headlines, in the early 2000s. “It was a really exciting time for Formula 1 racing in Colombia,” he says, and his love for motorsports has only grown since. Now, he says, he relates the sport’s themes of “grit, determination, and passion” to his own practice as an artist.
The mural itself, which will occupy the Monaco beachfront at the Grimaldi Forum, is inspired by three main elements: the aerodynamic shape of the McLaren car, the sense of extreme speed and movement associated with motor racing, and the textures and patterns that the car’s tires paint on the racetrack. “I try to find inspiration everywhere, in different places, spaces and environments,” DAST explains. “When they first look at the artwork, I want people to see and feel the speed of the mural. Then when they look deeper, they will find the detail of the McLaren car.”
Ultimately – and in-keeping with the door-opening ambitions of the Driven by Change initiative – DAST also hopes to inspire future generations of creatives with the mural. “I hope the mural will spark their imagination,” he adds. “I would love for my mural to showcase my passion for art, inspiring budding artists of the future.”
Vuse is an alternative to traditional tobacco products that contains nicotine and is suitable for adult nicotine consumers.
* Based on Vype/Vuse estimated value share from RRP in measured retail for vapour (ie total vapour category value in retail sales) in the USA, Canada, France, UK, Germany. These five markets cover an estimated 77 per cent of global vapour closed system NTO, calculated in June –July 2021.