For those with an eye for automotive appreciation, it can often be difficult to tell the difference between a beautiful car and a piece of art.
Jeremy Clarkson once addressed the issue by paraphrasing the artist Francis Bacon, saying that a piece of art must exist solely for itself. It must have no function, no practicality. Interestingly enough, Clarkson was referring to Alfa Romeo’s 8C Competzione, but there are plenty of other stunning supercars (which actually drive well) that challenge this notion that automotive design is not art. Think about Walter de Silva’s Audi R8, Henrik Fisker’s Aston Martin DB9, Jason Castriota’s Ferrari 599 and anything fast Pininfarina ever laid a pencil to…. All beautiful machines. We could go on.
But what happens when, instead of letting a car designer be an artist, you flip it around and let an artist have some fun creating with cars?
Enter Erwin Wurm, an Austrian born sculptor living in Vienna, who is famous for his ‘humourous approach to formalism’. What does that mean? Basically, that he approaches everyday objects with an artist’s eye, using humour to seduce and then surprise audiences. Everyday objects, like cars.
His renowned ‘Fat Car’ series depicts puffy, obese, real life-sized cars using polyurethane foam and Styrofoam covered in lacquer. Some have said the works are meant to critique consumer culture in Western society, but what’s much more fun than thinking too hard about the meaning of life, is looking at some of Wurm’s amazing Fat Car sculptures.
Other work by Erwin Wurm