Time machine.

David Mackaay – age 34, dark curly hair, black leather jacket – makes a brief stop under a bridge in his adopted home of Dusseldorf to take a look at some graffiti. He considers his Mercedes-Benz Coupe 230 CE as a companion, a car he has driven more than 100,000 km on European roads. When driving his classic car, he gets a different sense of time and finds it the best way to think about the world and his projects. “The car is like a living space for me, a kind of time capsule and always a source of inspiration.”

A man and his car.

“I didn’t go looking for it. It found me,” says Mackaay about his friend on four tyres, which he has preserved in its near original state - wood trim, dashboard panel, light-coloured roof liner, analogue round dials and doors that click shut with a nice full sound. “I need something genuine, and in this car, everything is genuine.” He only had to replace the star on the bonnet after it had been stolen. “But that has happened only once,” says Mackaay. “Actually, it’s a miracle.”


Blue-green eyes and an alertness for the world. As an artist, David Mackaay takes a critical look at his environment. He does this repeatedly in his artwork, sculptures and performances. He wants to shift the scenery around to find new perspectives.

Room with an (inner) view.

The Dusseldorf Art Academy is Mackaay’s artistic home. He studied here, explored classical works, collaborated with professors and students, but always in new ways, through new approaches and new projects.

It was not just because of the photo shoot that Mackaay wanted to return to the famous Academy where art immortals like Joseph Beuys and Gerhard Richter once studied. “I keep coming back here, to talk with people, to look, to give my mind a little shove.”

Up, down, but always straight ahead.

Always on the go, looking for new paths, never standing still. Mackaay shows how it’s done during the photo shoot in the Dusseldorf Art Academy. As soon the picture is taken, he is already jumping up on a wall, hugging a tree, jumping back down. “For me,” he says, “art is about constant change and movement.”

Rest stop on the Rhein.

The C 123 has 36 years under its belt and 242,000 km on the clock, but the 230 CE is not in the least tired. Mackaay loves to cruise around in the car, to aimlessly drift through the world. “The windscreen is the movie screen. I lean back and enjoy the show.” For him, the Coupe is a very special form of transportation. “It's like a spaceship in which I navigate through the currents of time.”