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Art on Wheels: How Artists Around the World Have Used Car Parts

 

We found this video and fell in love with all the ways car parts have been turned into art. This got our creative juices flowing and made us think; how else have auto parts been used in artistic ways?

 

 

Cars have consistently proven themselves to be capable of more than just a means of transportation. The art world often sees wheeled wonders, whether the cars themselves are canvases or they’re merely the inspiration of the art, yet every now and then they can become stunning and beautiful in completely unexpected ways.

 

Take Carhenge for example; almost a wonder of the world, Nebraska’s Americano take on Stonehedge is a beloved part of the town of Alliance. Created in 1987 by Jim Reinders and his family, Reinders created Carhenge as a memorial to his father after studying the exact proportions of the real Stonehenge.  

 

As if the monument was a manifestation of America itself, Reinders once said of the replica; “It took a lot of blood, sweat and beers.”

 

Of course, this is America’s use of auto parts; the rest of the world has found a lot of creative purposes for car parts. Below are just a handful of our favourites examples.

 

 

Practical Car Parts from the UK

 

Kragan Brayshaw, the mind & the muscle behind DKD Double K Designs, has always been a petrol head. Since a young age, he’s helped his dad with projects both large and small, quickly discovering a passion for Volkswagens in particular. 

 

Despite being a busy man (juggling the likes of tattooing and dog breeding with big-rig driving and engineering) Brayshaw put his mind to making the most out of the classic auto parts he often finds; approaching old car parts with an abundance of creativity.

 

Not just satisfied with making artistic and aesthetically alluring pieces with the likes of engines and alloys, Brayshaw makes beautiful furniture that’s both solid and subtle. Starting as a need for a good table, Brayshaw’s designs became more and more inspired, with his latest masterpiece transforming a rusty old engine into a gleaming chrome table with a rotating spectrum of lights emanating from the holes that once housed pistons. 

 

 

When asked about his creative uses for car parts he laughs, almost as if starting DKD Double K Designs was never a question of “if” but “when”, saying:

 

“I started doing this because I always wanted a V8 coffee table, but always noticed they were silly priced. I always saw them and thought ‘I could easily do that myself for miles cheaper.’ 

 

“One day, a lad I worked with offered me an engine at a price that I couldn’t resist and decided that I’d give it a go. When I got it, my goal was to make everything free or as cheap as I could, so I started working with that goal in mind.

 

“In the end, I found something that costs anything from £500 to £1000 could actually be done for about £200 to £400 and still leave enough money for some profit.

 

“My biggest thing is to try and repurpose or upcycle as many things as possible; so it’s A: cheaper and B: more economical.”

 

When asked about how he envisioned DKD Double K Designs and what kind of business goals he had for it yet let out another bellowing laugh, emphasising:

 

“Really, I just like to take something that’s old and really only had one use and purpose and to give it a new lease of life. I like to make it into something it was never meant to be.

 

“The best part is making something for someone that they’ve always wanted but never been able to afford and give it to them for what they think is a gift. For me, it’s mainly a cheap fun way to do what I love!”


 

Image courtesy of Miina Äkkijyrkkä

 

Car Art from Finland

 

Many would argue that artists seldom have a conventional journey in regards to either their career or their life in general, and Miina Äkkijyrkkä is no different. For over half a century, Äkkijyrkkä has been working with and around her most beloved muse; Finncattle, the native Finnish dairy cow. Some might question what an education based in an equine college could provide to an artist’s process, but those people would have clearly never seen Äkkijyrkkä’s art.

 

As well as painting myriad portraits and collages of cows, Äkkijyrkkä is probably best known for her goliath cow sculptures, all of which are made from the carcasses of old cars. Äkkijyrkkä purchases used cars, often opting for the more vividly colourful, and takes them to pieces. She reforms these pieces of scrap into magnificent metallic cows, each varying roughly in size yet almost all of them towering above those who view them.

 

Image courtesy of Miina Äkkijyrkkä

 

Whether she’s using entire cars or merely taking off their bumpers, it’s hard to argue that the end result bears a striking resemblance to her beloved bovines. Every now and then her muse will share a little more inspiration and she’ll try her hand at the likes of a horse, but for the most part, Äkkijyrkkä is all about the Finncattle. 

 

When asked about why the cow was held in such high esteem for her she merely stated:

 

“I am a protector of Finncattle.”

And really, nothing else needs to be said; especially in the shadow of one of her behemoth sized bovines.

 

Image courtesy of Igor Verny

 

Delicate Designs from Russia

 

Igor Verny, a Russian steampunk style artist, works with the intricate parts of cars; using small and fragile auto parts for his art. Pairing these with the likes of watch and electronic parts, Verny uses car parts to fabricate pieces that range from fascinatingly macabre to magnificently fancy.

 

When asked about his work, Verny replies with a pragmatic response laced with passion:

 

“At heart, I’m an artist...but I’m a technician too. The combination of these two qualities has led to the creation of metal models.

 

“I take inspiration from the outside world, particularly biology and the question of the origin of life. I always say, feel free to dream childlessly about unattainable things; this always pushes people forward.”

 

As a creative soul that runs his own shop, Verny explains that he often sees interesting materials coming to him directly, though he often takes the opportunity to explore and find inspiring elements of his future work:

 

“Many people bring me old items that I can make in my shop, but I also buy a lot of objects at flea markets. I collect them in the garages of my brothers and friends, sorting the parts by category.”

 

Verny’s dedication to his craft, both of his crafts even, showcases that creativity can bloom from almost any source.

 

Image courtesy of Igor Verny


 

All of these stunning pieces showcase not just how creative artists around the world are, but just how versatile car parts can be. Have you seen any stunning pieces of auto part art? Tell us all about it on twitter!

 

Posted by Mark Harris
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