Car Sculpture as Something Less Than Art

July 30th, 2009

Giant Audi TT SculptureIn case you missed the great event, Audi proudly unveiled a giant 10-ton TT sculpture in its home city of Ingolstadt, Germany. Dr. Werner Widuckel, Member of the Board of Management for Human Resources at Audi AG, and Dr. Alfred Lehmann, mayor of Ingolstadt, are shown here, looking totally foolish beside the be-ribboned beast that has already been shown in such eager locales as Berlin, Munich, Beijing, and Hong Kong.

The article in AudiWorld provides predictably blah-blah quotes from these fellas about the sculpture’s significance as a landmark—and the “100 Years of Audi” celebration on July 16, which passed without much notice. In a strange oversight, the article didn’t even include a photo. We got the one above from CarSession.com.

Cloud Gate, Chicago

Providence Bug

Now, why do carmakers (and other companies) make gestures like this? One could also ask why the Pharaohs built their tombs and pyramids, or why Audi’s giant car should be called a sculpture at all. There’s a structure in Chicago (above left – Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate) that qualifies, I think, to use that word.

Audi’s “sculpture” is just a glorified ad—like that enormous bug (above right) on the highway in Providence, Rhode Island, advertising an exterminator’s services. Then of course there’s Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, probably the ultimate car tomb, celebrated in story and song. Now that’s a car sculpture worthy of the name.

Cadillac RanchWhat do you think about car sculpture as art? What car would you like to see sculpted, and where would you put it?

—jgoods

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  1. Randy
    | #1

    Well, at least we know what Transformer excrement looks like.

    As far as sculpture goes, the real things all started their lives as clay sculptures, and there’s no need to reverse the process. A trip to a good automotive museum will reinforce the artistic aspect of cars. Most likely this Audi monstrosity was made by some starving artist relative of one of the guys in the picture. Well, at least GM wasn’t stupid enough to do it.

    You hit the nail on the head, though– the Audi “sculpture” is nothing more than an ad.

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