Today is Nevada Day. If you don’t know the first thing about Nevada Day, see the post I wrote about the holiday last year.
To celebrate Nevada Day, today I will share with you photos I took of Nevada Car at spark! Mesa’s Festival of Creativity that I attended with Nolagirl in the spring of 2018. Interestingly, Nevada Car hails from Bisbee, AZ. The Art Car Agency website says the art was created by David Best and is owned by Patrick Dailey.
It turns out that David Best is a big deal when it comes to art cars. In the 2015 article “David Best: the Man Who Builds Art – and Burns It” author Geoff Dyer writes that Best got into doing art cars
in the early 1980s, in Houston, right at the beginning of the art-car craze but – in a way that is typical – is careful to emphasize that he was just one of a number of people involved at the time, that the first art car was actually done by Jackie Harris.
Here’s a front view of Nevada Car.
It was really difficult to get a photo of the full view of this car with my camera. In my opinion that’s actually ok because the beauty is in the details.
Here’s some sort of gaming device attached to the car. In the same photo I see about a hundred tiny white buttons, a plastic sea turtle, a stack of smaller-than-life traffic cones that were maybe once bright orange but are now faded and dingy, a toy baseball batter, a combination lock, and a dozen rusty bottle caps. What do you see that I’m missing?
In this photo it looks like a dozen gumball machines and a kindergarten class worth of Happy Meals upchucked onto a relatively small area of the car. All of these crappy plastic toys merge into such a cohesive whole that it’s hard to pick out individual objects. Look! There’s Buzz Lightyear! To the right, a dozen plastic crabs! I see a leg! I see a lion! I see creatures I can’t identify.
In an article on the KQED Spark website, Best’s process is described like this:
… Best strips vehicles down to the core before reconstructing them, striving to make the car’s original form unrecognizable. Rather than merely gluing objects to the body of a car, Best, who religiously goes to the dump, likes to use found object materials that ultimately take on their own personality. After making 30 art cars and 2 buses, Best has worked with over 10,000 people.
It’s easy for me to imagine an artist finding these items at the dump and being delighted to add them to an art car work in progress.
I’m not sure why this is piece is called Nevada Car. Because of the gaming devices? Because of the gaming device that says “Nevada Club”? I wish this exhibit of art cars had included statements from the artists.
I like the juxtaposition of the statues of saints next to this old gaming device. Is it a commentary on praying for luck? An observation of the degree to which our society treats money as divine? A mere putting-together of objects in a way that looked pleasing to the artist’s eye?
I found my favorite feature of Nevada Car, and it didn’t have much to do with Nevada. I’m not talking about the BMW emblem either.
I’ll leave you with a wish for a Happy Nevada day and a self portrait with dancing bear in chrome.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to read about the J Gurl and Zalafayra art cars and the art vans California Fantasy Van and Camera Van that were also at the spark! Festival.
I took the photos in this post.