At LA’s Over The Influence, artist and designer Ron Arad is showcasing his knack for working with metals. His show CUBA Working Title (on now through 28 October)
centers on cars crushed like pressed flowers—hulking machines reduced to 12-centimeter-thick sheets of metal.
The concept was inspired by American cars in Cuba and the intertwining of their histories, from geographic and design (and even political) perspectives. Fantastically maintaining the integrity of automotive design, the frame and design of each car is as important as the act of it being crushed. These flattened cars—products of London-based Arad’s “factory in reverse”—hug gallery walls and echo throughout the space via miniature toy cars and bottle racks that have been similarly squashed.
While the crushed cars in CUBA illustrate Arad’s inventive ways with familiar forms, it’s the inclusion of a stainless steel and copper sofa, a stainless steel and bronze ping-pong table, and a bronze bookshelf that capitalize his desire to reform the formed. These mirrored pieces exhibit a chilling smoothness as each item seems to melt into the space, so well reflective of the room that they create the illusion that they aren’t present. The contrast between the cars and furniture offers a delightful tension.
CUBA is an exploration of metals and models that show how easily objects can be done and undone. Each crushed car, like each piece of furniture, is an opportunity to investigate the design of objects from the outside in—whether it’s bursting out of itself or is sleekly contained.
Ron Arad’s CUBA Working Title is on at Over The Influence (833 East Third St, Los Angeles) now through 28 October.
Images by Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick