Saturday, September 3, 2011

Car as Art

Chuck Redding's Western Flyer Rocket Car

Link to story and video

Chuck Redding built this street-legal car basically for fun and his own enjoyment. It's not for sale. Nor, I imagine, does he think of this car as ART. Now, just ponder for a moment, if someone like Jeff Koons or Damien Hirst had paid someone to make this car and then put their signature on it and declared it to be "their artwork", how much do you think it would be worth? Well actually, the question would more aptly be put, how much do you think some high-end art collector would be willing to pay for it?

I know that there is an artist that has, in at least one case, had people make a custom car(s) for him that he then declares to be his artwork. I can't remember who this is. I think the car I saw was maybe a Dodge Charger or something. If anyone can provide this information, I would appreciate it. (I may have seen it on the Guggenheim Museum website a couple years ago; not sure...)

We know, of course, that artists often have assistants and/or technicians do some/much/all of their work (in terms of creating the final object). The question becomes, at what point can we question the validity of a work as actually being that of the artist?

Of course, "found object art" has been around for almost 100 years, going back to Duchamp's "readymades". But still, having someone make a car for you that then becomes your art, I don't know....

Now, I know that Jeff Koons has designed at least one "art car". Key word here being designed. Okay, I can buy that. However, in the unknown car described above, as best as I can recall, there wasn't really a design on it per se... I think it was basically just your semi-custom type muscle car or something along these lines.

Anyway, I'm not on my soapbox today, really; some of these thoughts just came to mind when I saw the wagon/car.

I think I'll make some art today. I'm going to "appropriate" this car (pictured below).

Thanks to artist friend Sheree Rensel for alerting me to the wagon/car!