Art Car Parade

Recently, I attended a very unusual art show. Featuring intricately-designed automobiles of various makes and models, the parade showcased some of the finest, and most unusual, displays of creativity I’ve ever seen. The artists — or “Cartisits” — had taken ordinary cars, decorated them extensively, and turned what many people think of as mundane into sublime works of art. Okay, so maybe a van with giant red lips and big ears isn’t “sublime” — but it’s certainly cool.

Women That Rock was among the most elaborately-decorated cars in the show.

This woman is the cartist who created the car. She travels around selling her art, all of which feature rocks.

Throughout the show, the cars were on display for people to look at and take pictures of. This faded fuchsia van was decorated with suns and Tiki gods.

This beach-themed station wagon was decorated with drift wood and sand.

In my opinion, it won first prize for awesomest hood ornament.

It also had some unusual hub caps.

The driftwood car wasn’t the only one with a beach-theme, though. This tropical wagon one was there, too.

Next up: a car that doubled as a boat.

There’s even a working bubble machine in the back.

We also saw the Stinkbug — a VW covered in cigarette butts.

One of my favorites was this tiny car with a propeller.

But I was also pretty impressed with this Seuss-mobile:

While some of the vehicles there were more “ordinary”…

There were some there that were totally amazing:

This one didn’t looks all that out-there on the outside…

…but it had a surprising passenger inside! See the bar?

I thought this one was clever, but kinda ugly.

Whereas I was pretty impressed with the artistic-ness of the Heaven And Hell Car (“A little good, a little bad — like most folks.”)

I particularly liked its tricked-out topper.

You gotta love a motorcycle that looks like a guitar.

And — for the kid in all of us — the car with toys embedded in it.

I also really liked Mister Doctor Professor’s ride.

If you’re interested, you can learn a lot more about art cars, including:

You can also explore the more than 9000 photos on Flickr tagged “art car”, or hit play and watch an art car parade.