Today I came across this incredible photo of a Xenomorph (the famed Alien from the ass-kicking sci-fi thriller films of the same name) — sculpted entirely from old car parts and hand tools. This invention really impresses me. As a part-time Humanities instructor, I find many students roll their eyes when they learn the class involves examining sculptures and — worst of all — attending an art museum. Yet modern, unexpected uses of everyday objects transformed into Something Awesome, like this xenomorph, do capture their attention (that, and ancient weaponry). And I think that taking something considered very practical and making it into something aesthetic is a cool way of making us re-think the objects around us.
I went in search of other tool sculptures to see what other expressions people have created. Are tools rough, brute-force vehicles of power? Are they delicate, sleek instruments to shape the physical world? Seeing some of these concepts realized in art is an interesting way to explore that question.
Here is an Abstract Iron Tools sculpture from the great Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City:
And a more whimsical use of garden tools in the Bronx Zoo:
I’ve run into some people here in Texas who’ve come up with some pretty amazing concoctions using tools, scrap metal, and “found objects.” It’s not unusual to use tools to create art, but have you ever created art that was made of tools? Or is the whole idea sacrilege — like using books as props in a model home, or turning functional musical instruments into restaurant wall kitsch? Let us know what you think in comments.
Thanks to Flickr user fyrenwater for the Xenomorph photo.
Thanks to Flickr user jondresner for the Nelson-Atkins Museum photo.
Thanks to Flickr user ep4919 for the Bronx Zoo photo.