Art and the Automobile: The VW Beetle Sculptures of Ichwan Noor

James Kraus

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Beetle Sphere, Ichwan Noor, 2015

The VW Beetle has probably appeared in more artwork than any other vehicle. In 2011, Indonesian sculptor Ichwan Noor added to the Beetle’s catalogue raisonné when he began a series of lifesize full-scale VWs transformed into to perfect spheres and cubes.  

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Beetle Cube, Ichwan Noor, 2011

Ichwan graduated from the School of Visual Arts at Indonesia Institute of the Arts, and now teaches at the University of Yogyakarta.

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Beetle Sphere, Ichwan Noor, 2013

As to his source material, Noor explained that the VW was familiar to almost everybody across the globe, no matter their age or social status. People everywhere, across space and time know the car. I see the VW Beetle as one of the most successful designs, one that people will always be familiar with.

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Beetle Sphere, Ichwan Noor, 2015

His pieces are created by first making a polyurethane mold of a genuine Beetle, distorting it into a cube or sphere, making a second inner and outer mold, then casting the finished shape in aluminum. The resulting sculpture is then painted and affixed with acrylic windows and genuine trim pieces including lights, wheels and tyres.

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Beetle Sphere, Ichwan Noor, 2016

A Beetle Sphere was exhibited in 2013 at Art Basel Hong Kong.

3 thoughts on “Art and the Automobile: The VW Beetle Sculptures of Ichwan Noor

  1. Amazing !

    Glad these weren’t made of actual vintage VW’s.


  2. I saw one of these last year in the foyer of the Victoria Art Museum in Melbourne, Australia.

  3. Not sure why the aluminum. The acrylic would be just as good visually.

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