Austrian artist Erwin Wurm may stretch the concept of sculpture but you can’t deny that the man has a sense of whimsy. Though the basic concept of art cars appeals to me, the execution often has a whiff of hostility to the automobile that this car enthusiast can’t stomach. That notwithstanding, when I first saw a photo of one of Wurm’s Fat Car series, I couldn’t help but smile. After all, we enthusiasts often complain about how manufacturers we once admired have allowed their cars to get bloated and heavy.
How can you not give at least grudging props to a man, in Austria of all places, where Dr. Porsche spent his early career, who has the blasphemous audacity to turn a Porsche into a real Porker? More than a decade ago Wurm started out with smaller fat car sculptures, sort of scale models. One small Fat Car sold for 55,000 Euros in 2009. Wurm then moved on to a full size Fat Car, working with Opel engineers. Wurm told an interviewer that he had hoped to end up with with something that combined something biological with something mechanical, but according to the artist Opel’s digital design equipment could not render the “natural” looking shapes that he was looking for, so he decided to start with an already assembled car, in this case a Porsche cabriolet. Working with expanded polyurethane and polystyrene foams covered with laquer, Wurm debuted the “Fat Convertible” Porsche in 2004. Since then he has made other Fat Cars.
Mr. Wurm seems to like using things automotive as an artistic medium. In 2005, Wurm created a work titled Truck, an Isuzu medium duty whose bed can rest against a wall.
After bending a truck, in 2006 he made a bent bus, a VW Transporter that thinks it’s a caterpillar, titled Telekinetically Bent VW Van.
You can check out more of Erwin Wurm’s art at his minimalist website.
Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading– RJS