Mexican artist crushes Tesla under giant stone head

MEXICO CITY: Chavis Marmol, a 42-year-old sculptor who has never owned a car and travels by bicycle, came up with the idea of dropping the nine-ton carving onto a blue Tesla 3 here using cranes.

Inspired by the colossal head carvings of the Olmec, considered the first known major Mesoamerican civilization, it sits on a lot owned by a boutique hotel in the Roma district that teamed up with Marmol.

A video released by the Colima 71 hotel shows the moment when the head was released and the car's roof gradually caved in, though not before its batteries had been removed.

"My idea was to make a piece to troll Elon Musk," Marmol told AFP by telephone from Spain, adding that it would be "incredible" if the multi-billionaire Tesla boss saw it.

"Look what I do to your lousy car with this wonderful head. This is bigger than you and the rampant technologies," he said, his comments coming a year after the electric carmaker announced plans to build a huge factory in northern Mexico.

The idea for the artwork became reality following a conversation between Marmol and the hotel's artistic director, Ana Margarita Ongay.

"He very casually told me: 'my dream was always to put an Olmec head on a Tesla.' And at that moment I told him, 'well, let's do it,'" she said.

The first challenge was getting the car, which costs about $40,000 on the used market in Mexico.

"We couldn't buy a new one," Ongay said, adding that a donor whose identity is being withheld helped.

The next challenge was to find the stone from which to carve the head, with its big eyes and thick lips.

The installation of the sculpture was done by stealth.

"We wanted to preserve the magic and mystery of how it arrived, to let the work itself generate an impact and spark conversations," Ongay said.

"What do I feel when I see that? What does Tesla mean to me? What does it mean that it is installing a plant in Monterrey? What does Musk generate among us?"

Marmol said that it did not bother him seeing something worth US$40,000 (RM189,000) being destroyed, because "it wasn't my money."

"It's the wonderful thing about art, it allows you these atrocities," he said.
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