The sculptor Sean Guerrero, of Paonia, Colorado, has once again worked his magic with a new work titled “Re in Car Nation,” now on display at Bombay Beach, California. Ya gotta love metal.
Bombay Beach is a funky, informal art village on the eastern receding shore of the Salton Sea. “Re in Car Nation” is parked on a former breakwater point. All that new beach is toxin-laden.
“Re in Car Nation” starts with a 1948 Packard and adds a variety of seasonings from the sculptor’s spice rack.
“Headers by Hooker,” Guerrero writes in an email. “Pipes by Harley. Still have some chrome to add next March.”
The goddess in the bandeau and full skirt (seen above) remarked on the precision welds of the Hookers.
Tucked under the fuselage stabilizer is a file cabinet with two red and two green drawers in service as a car trunk.
Walking around and around it before falling into conversation with the others walking around and around it I heard the word whimsical, but I say witty and lucid.
The Crested Butte News labeled Guerrero a “chrome-plated visionary.” Among prime influences, he attuned his mind to Alexander Calder mobiles and Pink Floyd and Moody Blues airbrush art.
In his early days, Guerrero painted a mural or two on vans. Collector tip: Bet you a surviving specimen would turn a pretty penny.
Junk cars and airplanes had a special appeal, not least because his father served–“Guerrero” is “fighting spirit”–in the U.S. Air Force.
““Those old cars from the 1950s looked like they had these faces,” Guerrero told the News.
His deconstruction and reassembly of the Packard was augmented by rummage sale goods. You see the result, gasp and gawk, feel mystified and inspired.
For my part, I say Hollywood’s next apocalyptic feature should include a replica of “Re in Car Nation” as the heroic couple’s chariot.
For the stunt scenes, I volunteer to drive. Casting remains open for the sexy cyborg passenger.
Resolving a Question: Studebaker or Edsel?
Choosing between Studebaker and Edsel might be compared to the preference for walking the plank or having your parachute fail to open.
My post of two weeks ago showed a car hood on display in a Cathedral City resale shop specializing in vintage furnishings and accessories. The 58 x 45 slab dangled on the wall as a sculptural object and was accompanied by a “Studebaker” label.
Proposed price: $2,400.
Soon after my post appeared, Studebaker aficionado Bob Merlis said, “Bullet nose,” uttering the code name for well developed postwar models.
But then I heard from Maurice Merrick, who hosted me on his Horsepower Heritage podcast.
Maurice meant to stir up controversy.
“About the hood, though,” he began. “I don’t think it’s a Stude. Looks more like an Edsel. Notice the central fillet.”
He may have, so to speak, a point.
“But then again, the Edsel hood’s outer edges are relatively straight whereas the wall art has a taper. Bit of a mystery and now I’m obsessed.”
It’s nothing but confusion here at my desert hideaway. I didn’t dare call up the shop and challenge the provenance of their timeless art. Abruptly hanging up, the proprietors would ban me from the Art & Design district.
My reputation cannot take another hit.