Ferdinand Metz - member of the PUWANE artist group and his Futuristic Car Sculptures From the Past.
On Etsy.com I found the automotive artwork made by the Puwame imaginary artist group.
Similar to steampunk, the group creates car sculptures from scrap materials including street legal vehicles as the rocket.
I had the privilege to interview Ferdinand Metz on the art that he and his friend, Baron Margo, create.
The name of their artist group Puwame does not have a specific meaning but many find it intriguing and often leads to interesting conversations Ferdinand stated. He studied at the Californian Institute of Arts and graduated in ’89 with a focus on visual art and effects. With this degree, Ferdinand found a job in Hollywood in the motion picture industry. At one of his projects he met Baron Margo who had created special structures for a movie. Baron is a creative genius who sees things in scrap materials with which to create art. As the movie industry produced interesting waste, Ferdinand often called Baron with tips such as, “If you are interested in the parts of a Bell Helicopter you better come over now -- there is one in the dump container!”
Baron and Ferdinand became friends, sharing their artistic vision and helping each other. A course in neon art became the tipping point for Ferdinand; it gave him the tools and techniques to combine his passion for light with the creation of sculptures. It also brought their friendship to a new level where their skills and vision complemented each other.
The process of their art making is hard to describe. “A piece of scrap talks to you or it doesn’t,” says Ferdinand, “and when it does it needs to be saved from the scrap yard.” But even then it can take years before it is turned into something valuable. Baron’s art goes beyond art sculptures; he makes real vehicles. He calls his creations “drive-able art” or “functional art”. Futuristic cars, which are street legal, like the rocket car pictured above. These vehicles are large projects and Baron is helped by friends, each with their own expertise. Ferdinand brings his experience restoring vintage cars combined with electrical engineering and lighting while another friend has a large tool shop and garage available at Long Beach.
Baron is very detailed oriented. Everything needs to match and if he doesn’t have a specific part he will search high and low, combing through Los Angeles to find it. The cockpit of each vehicle is filled with instruments and knobs, often from vintage planes, and the position of each component is carefully decided. Not all instruments will function but they are there with a purpose.
Currently they are working on a new project; a futuristic vehicle named “Metamorphosis”.
Baron is a friend of the Blastolene Brothers known for the Tank Car they made for Jay Leno. The brothers and Baron share their ideas and hold one another’s work in high regard. Anything that is vintage, automotive or made of aluminum can inspire a new creation. It is no surprise that over time Ferdinand has become an avid collector of Baron his artwork.
Baron is now in his seventies and his style and work have become popular due also to the rise of steampunk. In the early days he referred to his style as the Jules Verne look with futuristic designs from the past or retro-futuristic.
Vintage Race Car by Ferdinand Metz
Ferdinand recently sold one of his automotive art pieces. [photo] This work is a tribute to the history of racing, capturing the characteristic lines of racing cars from the 20’s and 30’s. His range of subjects is wider than cars as he has a particular interest in robot-like creations. One of his works, available on Etsy, is a hand spray gun turned into an atomic ray gun lamp, outfitted of course with neon light.
The Artworks and Car Sculptures of Ferdinand and Baron are for sale through their Puwame website and their page on Etsy. If you are interested you can always contact him for purchases. Baron his site is www.baronmargo.com.
Let me know what you think and leave your comment below.
This blog was originally posted on March 3rd 2014