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Figure Eights and Fast Lanes

Bill thinks Michelle should have gone with the steamed-up window piece.

Car culture and contemporary art go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Richard Prince, Matthew Barney, Josephine Meckseper, and John Chamberlain all have used actual car parts in their sculpture. Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons, and Frank Stella famously painted BMWs. Even beyond that though, could Robert Frank ever have shot his landmark book The Americans without automobiles? Art essayist Dave Hickey says some of his best writing is done (albeit in his head I gather) while driving down an open stretch of highway. So let's talk about the FIAT challenge. Kind of shocking that no one decided to play with the logo, right? Liz Cohen might be our best guest judge this season, and I'm always reminded that artists who teach wind up offering the most constructive feedback during the crits. In retrospect I wish we had given Dusty more credit for his tire tread text speaking to the commuter nightmare. And if only Michelle had shown her steamed-up car windows, I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have gone home.

Young's robot went limp on the wall for me when I saw the episode on TV. In person the scale of it -- slightly larger than life -- helped save his work from elimination. I agree with Jerry that Lola has invented a new style of drawing unique to her hand, but it gets muddled when she throws in everything but the kitchen sink -- make that car battery -- during these challenges. Sara's muffler of solitude had me Googling the word "sublimation," but it was too hard to work that into our discussion. How cool that a pair of skinned car seats could operate as stand-ins for a father and daughter road trip? What a strange leap of logic to make when Sarah K. declared, "That's me and my dad." Almost brought me to tears, probably because it felt so sincere.

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