November 21, 2009 – 9:48 pm
The title of this blog post would never be used for a TV programme as it flows off your tongue like sandpaper on butter – You would need to have a snappy title like Top Gear, Pimp my ride or Xccelerate.
Xccelerate is new to Irish television and is the only motoring programme that is produced entirely in Ireland. However, I don’t think they will be testing any of the vehicles here, though we could arrange it, if they were interested.
The fullsize styrofoam (or polystyrene) Hummer H1 was created by Andy Junge and was the centrepiece of his show, entitled “American Detritus”. This was following a three-month residency at San Francisco Recycling & Disposal’s Artist In Residence Program. It was handcrafted from thousands of individual pieces of polystyrene that had been shaped and sanded down. They are held together with five gallons of glue, a case of adhesive, and various screws, bolts, metal rods and pipes. It is 17 feet long, 6 feet high, and with mirrors, over 8 feet wide.
There was no need to supersize the Hummer, as its dimensions are already in that league, however the same isn’t true of our next vehicle.
The scale replica of Craig Jones’ World Supersport bike is approximately 9 feet tall and was installed at the entrance of the racing circuit in Portimao, Portugal. People arriving at the circuit for the final round of the 2009 World Superbike Championship, couldn’t help but notice the large sculpture.
The bike was created in EPS (expanded polystyrene foam) and was strengthened using metal armatures with a mesh and plaster coating, then hand-painted to imitate the original bike. The level of detail is quite remarkable considering the size of the item.
The circuit, Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, sponsored Craig’s team, who was tragically killed in a freak racing accident in August 2008. He was held in such high regard both as a racer and as a man, that the team and circuit owners decided to commission the replica in his memory. The intention is to replace it with a bronze piece in the future.
The bike above could be described as giant, rather than supersized, whereas the next car does look like it has been supersized – if you remember the 2004 film Super Size Me.
Polystyrene foam and polyurethane expanding foam were, again, used to create this unique-looking car. Hand tools were used to smooth and shape the rounded contours and deep folds.
Erwin Wurm, an Austrian artist and sculptor, created a number of cars in a similar style and even went as far as producing a house with very similar rounded proportions. (via one minute sculpture)
Words like “flowing lines”, “aerodynamically designed” and “with a graceful beauty” are often used in the media, to describe the shape of a car. These words could hardly be used in this case, but what do you expect when you pimp your ride with polystyrene ?