jonathan brand is installing
a full-scale 1969 ford mustang – made of watercolor paper – in the new york gallery.
as a kid, the artist restored three vintage cars with his father. the last one, a 1969 mustang, had been sitting in a backyard in mississippi for 26 years when they bought it. there were weeds growing through it and another car’s engine was in the back seat. it took five years to rebuild the car, and just before he finished it, he sold it to buy his fiancée a diamond engagement ring.
to make this sculptures in this show, jonathan drew the car and all of its parts from photographs and his memory. he turned those drawings into digital 3-d renderings, then flattened them. the flattened drawings were printed on watercolor paper, cut-out, and folded and pasted to make the three-dimensional parts of the car.
it took two years to make this project.
the surfaces are faceted — like a cut diamond.
the paper car is exhibited partially disassembled (the way he delivered the original car to the buyer). when you see it, you’re amazed by the complexity and ambitious scale of the project. you find yourself surrounded by an intimidating number of parts and daunted by the amount of labor involved — an experience akin to that of restoring a car.
brand says that rebuilding the junked car was his introduction to working sculpturally.
the project is called “one piece at a time.” the title is a nod to johnny cash’s 1976 rockabilly hit in which an assembly line worker dreams of owning one of the cadillacs he builds. he “appropriates” a car one piece at a time, stashing the stolen parts in his lunch box everyday to bring home and reassemble.
jonathan brand’s show “One Piece At A Time” is on view at our gallery at 531 west 36th street from 20 september – 29 october 2011