The smaller single gallery at Library Street Collective opened an exhibition of work, Turning Wrenches, by the artist from Miami, Daniel Arsham, on June 25, 2021. It is an exhibition of automotive-based sculpted models of cars 1:3 scale replicas with a connection to the film industry. The sculptured objects are created from Bronze, Quartz, Selenite, Hydrostone, Amethyst, and Calcite. These stone materials are used to create four cars and some additional car-related artifacts. Asham, now described as a New York-based artist, began his journey by traveling to Easter Island in 2011. He joined archaeologists who were re-excavating a Moai (the giant statue) and ran across early tools left behind for nearly a hundred years. What he experienced was the effect of acid rain, the environment, and years’ time on the tools. The experience began back in the studio by creating objects that included a kind of erosion that depicted openings in some of his early objects he purchased off eBay: a camera and a Jam Box. Essentially what followed was a process where he created objects, with carefully placed areas of time abandonment and decay that reveal patches of a surreal organic-like interior.
For the Detroit exhibition, his solo exhibition at LSC plays on his interest in the automotive industry and auto culture by linking cars to the film industry. The DeLorean is a relic of the film Back to the Future and conceptually combines his interest in both a unique car and his interest in manipulating time. The model is produced in Bronze and is available in an edition of three.
The 1968 Mustang G.T. was created using Volcanic Ash and Pyrite, is connected to the film Bullitt, starring Steve McQueen, where everything is black except the surreal interior openings in the car chassis. The original Mustang in the film’s famous chase scene was dark green.
Along his journey, Arsham purchased a 1986 Porsche 911 Turbo that may have been connected to his personal fondness for the car during his youth. The replica of the re-imagined model was based on a Porsche 930A and is shown here with an imagined “under the hood” universe. The material sculpted is Rose Quartz and Orange Selenite.
In addition to these reduced 1:3 models of cars, Asham includes a variety of design artifacts from the auto industry of the past. The early icon for Mobil Oil was this Flying Horse Pegasus, a symbol of speed and power. The flying red horse was first used by Vacuum Oil in South Africa in 1911, but after an acquisition in 1931, Pegasus with a nod from Greek Mythology was adopted as its U.S. trademark by Mobil Oil.
The origin of the Shell name can be traced back to the seashells that Marcus Samuel senior imported from the Far East during the late 19th Century. The gas pump has evolved over many years, and this replica comes from the 1970 time period, which perhaps made an impression on Ashram’s formative years.
Born in Ohio in 1980, Daniel Arsham primarily grew up in Miami. During his childhood, he began to familiarize himself with art, starting with photography and came to be influenced by his grandfather’s art collection. Arsham employs architecture, performance, and sculpture elements to manipulate and distort understandings of structures and space.
He earned his BFA from The Cooper Union, NYC, NY. Arsham’s work has been shown at PS1 in New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, The Athens Biennial in Athens, Greece, The New Museum In New York, Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, California Carré d’Art de Nîmes, France, among others.
The exhibition Turning Wrenches by Daniel Arsham is on display at the Library Street Collective through August 7, 2021.