Considered the scourge of car buffs in the Salt Belt states, rust is getting a revamped rep, thanks to a Swedish artist. Bo Lundvang apparently has a knack for spotting the beauty in the otherwise offensive. After all, nothing makes a classic car collector cringe like a spot of rust on a vintage beauty. But for Lundvang and his followers, the dreaded tin worm is a welcome creative entity.
Lundvang’s works of art feature smooth sheet metal renditions of some of the world’s favorite automobiles in backgrounds of rusted sheet metal. Pieces are created via a multi-step process that begins with a computerized rendering of the design. The finished image goes to a vinyl cutter that turns a large section of adhesive vinyl into a stencil. Lundvang affixes the stencil to a piece of bare steel, typically measuring three feet long by a foot and half tall. He then applies a proprietary process that speeds oxidation and regulates formation of rust. When the stencil is removed, the smooth, untouched grey steel stunningly contrasts with the textured rust. Lundvang completes each piece with a sealing agent that protects against further oxidation.
An automotive writer by trade, Lundvang creates no more than two pieces each month. And no – you can’t have more details on that closely guarded oxidation process.
“My own little secret,” says Lundvang. He did, however, recently share his inspiration with reporters.
“Cars are what fill my head most of the day, but it’s the shapes that draw my attention, the design,” he said. “A correct curve can really set things off for me. Well, the sound could too, but I can’t fix sound on sheet metal.”
Lundvang’s pre-designed rust art pieces are said to start at $1,500, with commissioned originals costing a bit more. Here’s a sampling of the media comments about the pieces:
- “Rust has become a subject of aesthetic interest in recent years… Bo Lundvang is channeling the trend into an oxidized form of pop art” (Rory Carroll, NY Times)
- “There’s a thin line between patina and outright decay, and artist Bo Lundvang seems to understand that threshold all too well… Too cool” (Autoblog)
- “Turning rusted sheet metal into art? Now that’s dope!” (LifeStyles Defined)