Spotted parked outside the Stephen Romano Gallery, on Harrison Place near Porter Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
It’s been six years since I saw Industrial Designer Ron Arad’s phenomenal No Discipline exhibit at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art and was immediately smitten by the artist’s unique vision of transforming the functional and mundane into extraordinary works of art. Early last week, Geoffrey and I attended a talk by Arad at the Neuehouse Private Workspace Collective, during which he talked about his upcoming exhibit at Paul Kasmin Gallery and compared creating In Reverse, his new series of compressed Fiat cars, to the process of pressing flowers between the pages of a book. It was an excellent primer to set expectations high for the exhibit, which opened on February 12th.
In Reverse was first installed at the Design Museum Holon, Israel — the iconic building which Arad designed himself. The exhibition examines the ongoing dialogue between handmade and digital processes in his practice. Rather than manipulate materials to generate functionality, Arad reverses their utilitarian purpose and transforms them into one-of-a-kind objects.
Comprised of six of Arad’s Pressed Flower sculptures made up of compressed Fiat 500s in varying colors mounted on the gallery’s walls, In Reverse also illustrates Arad’s long-standing fascination with crushed metals, which he continues to collect in the form of soda cans or toys destroyed by oncoming traffic. For Arad, these crushed car sculptures are “the nearest thing you could do in three-dimensions to action painting.”
Even the Fiat itself retains iconographic importance to Arad; the Fiat Topolino 500c Giardiniera was his family’s first car, and as a child, his father nearly died in an accident in the vehicle.
The exhibition will also feature Blame the Tools (2013), a to-scale, digitally-grided, 3D model of a Fiat in steel and bronze.
In Reverse continues to highlight Arad’s exploration of material, form and function over the last thirty years with an earlier work, Restless (2007), a gravity-defying bronze bookcase. This functional piece simultaneously overlaps convex and concave surfaces to create a seemingly impossible balance that appears effortless.
There’s also video display where you can watch a frame-by-frame example of how one of the Fiat’s looks as it is gradually transformed through the process of compression. See more shots below:
And eventually it looks like this:
Ron Arad’s In Reverse will be on Exhibit Through March 14th, 2015 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 515 W. 27th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Elvis Presley, who had a passion for both cars and guns, shot this Pantera with his personal firearm during a temperamental outburst, losing patience when the car would not start. The two bullet holes on the steering wheel rim and one in the floor pan were never repaired and today serve as reminders of his ocassional fits of rage.
Elvis bought this Pantera on the used car market for $2400 in 1974 for his then-girlfriend, actress Linda Thompson. Although its mid-engine configuration qualified it for exotic car status, the De Tomaso Pantera cost far less that a comparable Ferrari or Lamborghini because of its relatively inexpensive, but no less potent, Ford engine.
Photographed at the Amazing Automobiles Exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
A few days ago, you might have noticed the bitchen Ferrari Art Car posted here on The Gig after we immortalized it on the Blogosphere in honor of the opening reception of the Strada Veloce (“Fast Street”) group exhibit up now at the Dorian Grey Gallery. While the car was just making a drive by, so to speak, you still have until October 5th to see this exhibit’s eclectic assortment of custom home furnishings designed around various luxury car parts, as well as a selection of fine oil paintings of status symbol automobiles!
Here are a few of our favorite pieces from the show!
Lambo Chair, authentic wood shipping crates upholstered in Cowhide. Lambo Murcielago Verde Ithaca Calper Lamp in Green. Ferrari 456 Rossa Corsa Table in Red (Joe Mac Designs).
Small Porsche Exhaust Lamp on Lambo Gallardo Wheel Table in Verde Ithaca Green.
Lusso Painting By Stephen Lack (Wall) with Porsche Exhaust Lamp atop Lambo Wood Shipping Crate Console Cabinet.
Love Vandal, Spray Painted Ferrari Hood by Nick Walker.
Floc U, Spray Enamel on Fabric Settee By Meres/Flock Design House.
And if you missed it at the opening, there is a scale model of John “CRASH” Matos’ Ferrari Art Car on display in the front window!
Strada Veloce will be on exhibit at Dorian Grey Gallery, Located at 437 East 9th Street (Between Ave A and 1st Ave) until October 5th, 2014.
I was so smitten by this Yellow Mustang of indeterminate model year that I stopped to take photos of it in the rain. The car was parked on a street in Long Island City and even though it has a bit of tree detritus on the hood (from the rain) it still looks like a sweet ride.
I once had a boyfriend who drove a car that somewhat resembled this one, but that is a story that takes too long to talk about.
While I was at the LA County Museum of Art this past December to see the Stanley Kubrick retrospective, I also enjoyed the experience of stumbling upon Chris Burden’s room-sized kinetic sculpture, Metropolis II – the focal points of which are 1,100 Hot Wheels cars.
Burden finished this scale cityscape, which took four years to build, in the Summer of 2011 and it was installed at LACMA that Fall. Although you can walk completely around Metropolis II from the floor of the exhibit room, you really need to climb the stairs to the catwalk-like balcony to see the action from above and fully appreciate what Burden was trying to convey. The frenetic movement of the tiny cars is hypnotizing.
In a statement at the exhibit’s opening, Burden expressed his hypothesis that, “The future of automobile transportation is that there won’t be drivers anymore.” The 1,100 customized Hot Wheels cars whirring through a city of building-block skyscrapers is a scale model of Burden’s vision for L.A.’s future: Cars that are swiftly autopiloted along pre-determined routes, moving ten times faster than they do today.
The cars are dramatically lifted eight feet in the air by a magnetized conveyor belt, then dispatched through the city on a roller coaster network of plastic roadways. The buildings are constructed with Legos and Lincoln Logs, Erector Sets and stacking slotted cards. A dozen out-of-the-box electric trains chug casually through the sculpture.
Due to the physical strain on both the sculpture and the fact that it must be physically monitored at all times to watch for “pileups,” Metropolis II runs for only one hour at a time, with a one hour break between sessions, from Friday through Sunday. The viewing schedule is below and no reservations are required:
11:30–12:30 PM; 1:30–2:30 PM; 3:30–4:30 PM; 5:30–6:30 PM
Saturdays & Sundays
10:30 am–11:30 PM; 12:30–1:30 PM; 2:30–3:30 PM; 4:30–5:30 PM
LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90036.