The Volkswagen Beetle has one of the most iconic shapes in the automotive world. Its distinct bulbous form has been both admired and mocked since its introduction in the late 1930s… but few would deny the massive success of the little car. Recently Indonesian artist Ichwan Noor arrived at Art Basel Hong Kong with a sculpture that emphasizes the Beetles form to the extreme – a real 1953 Beetle transformed into a perfect sphere.
When you look at the morphed shape of the sculpture, it’s pretty hard to believe this was ever a road worthy car. The amount of metalwork is astounding, seeing the car’s features pushed and pulled to the extent that even small elements like the tail lights don’t protrude from the shape of the sphere.
This isn’t the only time Noor has re-imagined the shape of the Beetle. He also created the antithesis of the car’s shape in 2011 when he made one into a perfectly angular cube. The boxy form is so different from the actual car that it’s difficult to realize it’s a Beetle at all… only when the curving lines of the engine compartment or trunk become obvious do we see the curving origins of the sculptures material. The piece was voted “favorite artwork” at the Indonesia Art & Motoring Exhibition. Be sure to check out the video of the car’s un-boxing at the bottom of this article and more of Noor’s strange sculptural works, including his anatomically based forms, here.