By John DeWitt

besides the Harley-Davidson bike, scorching rods and customized automobiles are robust symbols of resistance, uprising, and the high-octane way of life. because the Nineteen Fifties, those flashy restyled cars have occupied a distinct position in American renowned mythology.

Cool autos, excessive artwork: the increase of Kustom Kulture assessments out this relatively male lifestyle with an up-close examine personalized automobile artwork and the artists who create it. via notable technical mastery, coupled with a uniquely American mind's eye, those motorheads rework heavily produced items of into particular handmade items of paintings referred to as "rods" and "customs."

this primary full-length examine to target the perform of scorching rodding and motor vehicle customizing argues not just that this "kustom kulture" merits attention as a resource of valid artwork types but additionally that the increase of yank automobile customizing displays the attitudes and ideas of the teenager tradition that emerged within the Fifties. whereas tracing the evolution of types, this ebook examines particular automobiles and the development of auto tradition throughout the Nineteen Nineties.

Cool automobiles, excessive artwork: the increase of Kustom Kulture argues furthermore that during this motor vehicle artwork the theories of modernism meld with pop culture. of their good looks, within the sophistication in their designs, and of their formal play, those reworked, re-imagined vehicles parallel the tips, concepts, and fulfillment of high-art modernists. And as excessive paintings progresses into postmodernism, so too does custom-made automobile tradition.

regardless of the sturdiness and the significance of Kustom Kulture, this far-reaching contribution to American paintings has principally been overlooked by way of mainstream critics. whereas postulating the reason for this anomaly, this e-book questions what's intended through paintings and the way preconceived notions of gender, race, and sophistication usually hinder the popularity of creativity in areas the place mind's eye isn't expected.

John F. DeWitt, an affiliate professor of English and the performing director of the liberal arts software on the collage of the humanities in Philadelphia, is the writer of numerous books of poetry. He has been released in The New American Review and New Geography of yank Poets.

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Cool Cars, High Art: The Rise of Kustom Kulture by John DeWitt


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