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Thread: Hand Carved Engines and other Automotive Art

  1. #1

    Hand Carved Engines and other Automotive Art

    Saw this on a blog. Nice guy from Kentucky is an artist who hand carves automotive items. He's got a kickstarter campaign to help him get to some art shows and perhaps start a business. Interesting stuff!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    That's some very impressive work,
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Although I do not like criticising a piece from a fellow carver, I neither share the taste nor the qualification of that and the oil cans he makes as "Art" and I'll try to explain myself.

    This guy, has great skill, that engine looks almost real but I do not see much creativity on it. That engine can be made by any pattermaker, because in fact that's what they did before the appearance of CNC and CAD systems, they made the original pieces used to make the sand molds to cast those same pieces. Due to that engine parts have what is called easy demolding and no intricate undercuts, which on their own do not add value to any piece.
    Even worse are those oil cans he makes, we all have seen in those gift shops similar items like a Coke can or bottle with a "frozen" froth coming out from their mouth made out of urethane foam, a chocolate cup tipped over with the chocolate spill made out of plastic and so forth

    IMHO in any piece of "art" or design there must be intention, intention of communicating something to the viewer, to express something or to create a reaction on the viewer, and even sometimes none of those but just a sheer artistic onanism from the author to do something for his strictily sole and personal satisfaction, (which BTW usually tends not to be true as artists more that anybodyelse like or need appreciation from other people).

    The fact that he remarks that that engine is hand made instead of CNC carved connects with the general assumption that anything that is difficult to make is worth something or even worse, is "art". For the same token, a more than dubious piece made in a dark room, wearing boxing gloves and using only a penknife, should be considered "art"?

    We must diferentiate between an "artistic piece" and "art". A piece of an engine, or from a plane can become an artistic decoration piece when put in a diferent environement (like a propeller hung on a wall), likewise a found object, such a twisted root polished by the sand on a beach, when taken from it and put in your living room becomes an artistic piece, suitable to be enjoyed from the aesthetic point of view, and I have nothing against that, but I think that that is not art.

    Most of us, including myself, find difficult to consider as art some of the pieces that we can see in some gallerys nowadays, like a real shark preserved in a clear case full of formaldehyde that I remember seeing once for instance. Many as well do not see any merit in some paintings " that my 5 year old son could make".

    Dalí and Miró ( to mention two spanish artists) were both surrealists and contemporary, but while Dalí was surrealistic in the concept and academic in the execution, Miró was surrealistic in both, execution and concept. Many people like Dalí's work but do not like Miró's one.
    I think that in enjoying a work of art, there are two stages, the first one is the one that catches our interest, the one that makes say the Ahhss and Ohhhs or Arrrghh or Puaff or Psé,Psé. Unfortunately many people remains on that first stage and do not go beyond it, remaining on the surface of the piece. It is not until when we try to find the hidden or not so hidden intention of the author when we start to see why something is considered art.
    To describe art is like discussing about the sex of the angels, aftert all it is basically what and how we perceive, think and react in front of something, but always passing it through the filter of our own experiences and feelings, and that's why it is something very subjective, what is considered art by one is considered rubbish by other, and I've seen real rubbish turn into works of art...

    I apologize for the for the extension of this reply, but I thought that it was a good opportunity to stir some debate.
    Last edited by Toni Ciuraneta; 01-25-2013 at 06:33 AM.
    Best regards,

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
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    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    You bring up some good points, Toni. I've spent a lot of years trying to figure out what "art" really is, and in my case, where it comes from. In both music and woodworking, I've had a few moments where my output surprised me...I generally try for a certain level of competency, but on occasion it feels like I've done something above and beyond my norm. I just wish I could figure out how to reach that level with everything, instead of just having it accidentally show up every once in a while.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    falcon heights, minnesota
    i know what you mean toni, it took me quite a while to get used to the paintings and sculptures by fernando botero.
    benedictione omnes bene

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