Just because a car’s no longer road-worthy doesn’t mean the scrapheap’s the only option left… Did it ever cross your mind that your clapped-out motor could, in fact, be headed for a far loftier fate?
All over the world, automotive artists are putting unwanted cars to incredibly creative use with their boundary-pushing pieces.
Here’s a rundown of some of our favourite car part art and sculptures, covering everything from a concrete pile up to an articulated ape!
‘Carhenge’ by Jim Reinders
Just in case you haven’t guessed it from the name, this is a replica of Stonehenge; the structure’s formed from vintage American cars that have been spray painted silver. Located in Nebraska, USA, this amazing art installation was built in 1987 by Jim Reinders in memory of his father, and is quite the tourist attraction.
‘Mechanical Gorilla’ by Andrew Blake
This incredible mechanical sculpture was created by famed artist Andrew Blake using a variety of materials including recycled transmission parts. It’s a little more diminutive than your average gorilla at just 46 inches tall, but weighs in at a hefty 100lb and, impressively, is fully articulated too.
‘Der Turm von Klythie’ by John Chamberlain
This imposing two-storey-high installation by American-born artist John Chamberlain, made from hundreds of crushed cars, stands in the Quartier 205 mall in Berlin.
‘Transformer’ by Anchalee Saengtai
Thai artist Anchalee Saengtai and his family have built a number of Transformers sculptures using recycled car parts. This 20ft Optimus Prime is one of his finest creations. Fancy one yourself? Then you’ll be pleased to know he takes commissions too – best start clearing space in the hallway now, right?
‘Dragon’ by Ptolemy Elrington
Brighton-based Elrington has fashioned everything from dogs to fish out of hubcaps found on the roadside, but this 10-metre-long dragon is surely his most spectacular piece of work. 200 hub caps were used to create this imposing sculpture and it took over a month to build.
‘Long Term Parking’ by Arman
Installed in the Château de Montcel park in France in 1982, this 60-foot-high concrete structure has 60 cars embedded in it. Nouveau Realist artist Arman intended for it to symbolise the waste generated by mass production and draw attention to environmental issues associated with car production at the time.
‘Bonny’ by James Corbett
Australian car part sculptor James Corbett has created all sorts of sculptures from car parts – everything from beetles to cowboys – but this intricate creature with his hangdog face has to be one of our favourites.
‘Way of Roses’ by Severija Incirauskaite-Kriauneviciene
Lithuanian textile artist Severija Incirauskaite-Kriauneviciene punched small holes through several car panels and then covered them in intricate cross stitching to create this artwork.
Cows by Miina Äkkijyrkkä
These massive creations from Helsinki-based sculptor Miina Äkkijyrkkä are based on the herd of cows she cared for. The towering sculptures are all made from various parts of used cars and just like the creatures that inspired them, they’ve set up residence in a scenic field.
‘Bullman’ by Yong Ho Ji
All of the work created by Korean artist Yong Ho Ji – including this minotaur-like creature – is made from carefully sculpted tyres. The attention to detail he puts into each piece is truly astonishing.
‘Hedgerow’ by Lucy Slivinski
Artist Lucy Slivinski created this hedgerow-like tangle of car exhaust pipes and tail lights, exhibited in Grant Park, Chicago as part of the 2006 ‘Chicago Car Culture’ event.
‘Cadillac Ranch’ by Ant Farm
This famed public art installation was created by art group Ant Farm back in 1974. Visitors to the site – which sits just outside the town of Amarillo, Texas – love making their own addition to the already heavily-graffitied Cadillacs, which are set in the sand at the same angle as the Great Pyramid of Giza.
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