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Art

Beautiful Fordite Stones Created from Layers of Automotive Paint are a By-Product of Old Car Factories

May 22, 2014

Johnny Strategy

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image via talyer jewelry

Old car factories had a harmful impact on the environment, releasing toxic chemicals into the air, land and water. But it wasn’t all ugly. Oddly enough, one of the by-products of car production was Fordite, also known as Detroit agate. The colorful layered objects take their name from agate stones for their visual resemblance. But instead of forming from microscopically crystallized silica over millions of years, Fordite was formed from layers of paint over several tens of years. Back in the day, old automobile paint would drip onto the metal racks that transported cars through the paint shop and into the oven. The paint was hardened to a rock-like state thanks to high heats from the baking process. As the urban legend goes, plant workers would take pieces home in their lunch pails as a souvenir for their wife or kids.

Since then, car production has modernized and Fordite has been rendered a relic of the past. Artisans have been using the colorful material for jewelry but it’s not a stretch to imagine a future when these pieces sit behind glass in a museum. The colors can also be used to judge how old they are because car paint was subject to different trends. In the 1940s cars were mostly black or brown enamel while the 1960s ushered in an age of colorful lacquers. (via My Modern Met, Fordite.com)

Update: The Michigan State University Museum confirms they have a fordite sculpture in their collection.

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image via flickr user m e sweeney

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image via flickr user nebbie

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image via flickr user m e sweeney

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image via flickr user Sue Kershaw

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image via Fordite.com

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image via flickr user Sue Kershaw

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image via flickr user Sue Kershaw

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image via Fordite.com

 

 



Art

Metropolis II: A Kinetic Sculpture That Circulates 100,000 Miniature Cars Every Hour

March 3, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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This is a lovely video about Metropolis II, an impressive kinetic installation that circulates 100,000 toy cars every hour through a vast network of 18 tracks. Created by conceptual artist Chris Burden, the piece has been on view since 2011 at the Los Angeles Museum of Art. Via the museum:

Chris Burden’s Metropolis II is an intense kinetic sculpture, modeled after a fast paced, frenetic modern city. Steel beams form an eclectic grid interwoven with an elaborate system of 18 roadways, including one six lane freeway, and HO scale train tracks. Miniature cars speed through the city at 240 scale miles per hour; every hour, the equivalent of approximately 100,000 cars circulate through the dense network of buildings. According to Burden, “The noise, the continuous flow of the trains, and the speeding toy cars produce in the viewer the stress of living in a dynamic, active and bustling 21st century city.”

Video by Supermarché.

 

 



Art

Midday Traffic in San Diego Collapsed and Reorganized by Color

December 17, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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In this new video art clip from San Diego-based filmmaker Cy Kuckenbaker, we watch as a 4-minute shot from the Washington Street bridge in San Diego is deftly edited, sorted, and compressed resulting in perfectly color-coded traffic. Kuckenbaker notes:

The source footage for this video is a 4-minute shot from the Washington Street bridge above State Route 163 in San Diego captured at 2:39pm Oct 1, 2013. My aim is to reveal the color palette and color preferences of contemporary San Diego drivers in addition to traffic patterns and volumes. There are no CG elements, these are all real cars that have been removed from one sample and reorganized.

The filmmaker wowed us at about this time last year when he condensed five hours of plane landings into 30 seconds. (via Stellar)

 

 



Art Illustration

Auto Aerobics by Chris LaBrooy

November 19, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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I’m really enjoying this series of stretched and interlinked classic cars by UK-based illustrator Chris Labrooy. Labrooy graduated from the RCA with an MA in design products and has since been using various 3D tools to explore the intersection of typography, architecture, product design and visual art. His has exhibited at the design museum in London and his work appears in numerous illustration and design publications. You can see more in his portfolio and over on Debut Art. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Art Photography

Photographer Creates Lifelike Images of American Streets Using Toy Car Models and Forced Perspective

October 16, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Over his long career of making and building, self-taught photographer Michael Paul Smith has at times referred to himself as a text book illustrator, a wallpaper hanger and house painter, a museum display designer, an architectural model maker, and art director. All of these skills have culminated in the amazing ability to shoot forced perspective outdoor scenes using his extensive diecast model car collection. Something he calls his “quirky hobby.”

For nearly 25 years Smith has been working on a fictional town he refers to as Elgin Park where all of his miniature scenes take place. To make each shot he positions an old card table at scenic points around Boston and positions his minutely detailed cars and model sets on top. Using an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera and natural light he then snaps away, simply eye-balling the perspective to get everything right.

While these are his most recent photos, earlier shots from the collection have gone into a book titled Elgin Park: An Ideal American Town. To learn more you can read an extensive interview over on Fstoppers. All photos courtesy Michael Paul Smith. (via PetaPixel)

 

 



Design

A Mercedes V12 Engine Built with Hand-Forged Components of Bone, Wood, Fossils and 50 Other Materials

August 28, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Here on Colossal we’ve seen an entire 1969 Mustang Coupe made from paper, and a stunning stop motion time-lapse of a rebuilt Triumph Spitfire, but this new sculptural piece by artist Eric van Hove might take the cake for labor-intensive automotive art. After receiving a Cda-Projects Grant the artist headed to Morrocco to create V12 Laraki, an excruciatingly detailed Mercedes V12 engine built from 53 materials that were hand-forged from 35 master craftsmen from various regions in Morocco.

Nine months in the making,V12 Laraki began when van Hove dismantled a mercedes engine and then set about creating faithful reproductions of every single component, some 465 parts and 660 bolts made of casted copper. Contracting with artists around Morocco the engine was made with white cedar wood, high Atlas red cedar wood, walnut wood, lemon wood, orange wood, ebony wood of Macassar, mahogany wood, thuya wood, Moroccan beech wood, pink apricot wood, mother of pearl, yellow copper, nickel plated copper, red copper, forged iron, recycled aluminum, nickel silver, silver, tin, cow bone, goat bone, malachite of Midelt, agate, green onyx, tigers eye, Taroudant stone, sand stone, red marble of Agadir, black marble of Ouarzazate, white marble of Béni Mellal, pink granite of Tafraoute, goatskin, cow-skin, lambskin, resin, cow horn, rams horn, ammonite fossils of the Paleozoic from Erfoud, Ourika clay, geometric terra cotta with vitreous enamel (zellige), green enamel of Tamgrout, paint, cotton, Argan oil, cork, henna, rumex. In case you were interested.

While the engine is of course not meant to be functional, the piece acts as an incredible testament to Moroccan craft, as well as a fascinating amalgam of natural resources and materials found in the region. You can learn more about the project on the artists website and over on Facebook.

 

 



Art

The Beetle Sphere: An Actual 1953 VW Beetle Formed into a Perfect Sphere by Ichwan Noor

May 29, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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See-ming Lee

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This month marked a significant milestone for one of the world’s most famed art fairs as China hosted Art Basel Hong Kong for the first time. With over half of the galleries exhibiting at the fair originating from Asia and Asia-Pacific, Art Basel shined a bright international light on hundreds of artists who were relatively unknown outside of their respective regions.

One such artist was Jakarta-based sculptor Ichwan Noor with Mondecor Jakarta who arrived with this giant sculpture of a 1953 Volkswagen Beetle that, combined with polyester and aluminum, has been morphed into a perfect sphere. Apparently this is one in a series of spherical (and cubical!) vehicles by the artist, but he also works in a variety of other subjects including anatomical forms. To see more coverage of Art Basel Hong Kong, head over to Juxtapoz that has two galleries of photos, Part 1 and Part 2. (via Japan Times, See-ming Lee)

 

 

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