A full-scale 1969 Ford Mustang – made of paper – is the centerpiece of Jonathan Brand’s second solo exhibition at Hosfelt Gallery, New York. In One Piece At A Time, Brand reproduces the car in its entirety, right down to the nuts and bolts, dis- playing it as the individual collected parts, rather than as a single object.
The show’s title is a nod to the Johnny Cash song about the Detroit assembly line worker who dreams of someday owning one of the Cadillacs he builds. He decides to “appropriate” a car one piece at a time, stashing stolen parts in his lunch box everyday to bring home and reassemble.
The American automobile has played a large part in Brand’s personal life and his art. His grandfather was a millwright who installed the Detroit assembly lines referred to in Cash’s song. His uncle and cousins are mechanics. He has restored three vintage cars with his father. One of which, a 1969 Mustang, took him five years to rebuild and has been the inspiration for several bodies of work. He sold the Mustang to buy his fiancée a diamond engagement ring in an exchange that inspired one of his previous exhibitions.
The surfaces of the works in One Piece At A Time consist of thousands of geometric facets, much like those on the surface of a cut diamond. To construct the sculptures in this show, Brand begins with computer drawings that are printed as large- format inkjet prints. He then cuts, folds and glues these shapes together, 3-D jigsaw puzzle style. The end result is a dupli- cation of all aspects of the exterior and interior – from tires and hubcaps to door handles, glove box and engine. Viewers will be surrounded by an intimidating number of parts, providing an experience similar to the one Brand had restoring the original car.
Jonathan Brand was born in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada in 1980. He completed his MFA at Yale in 2007 and currently teaches at Pace University in New York City. His companion piece, The Diamond, will be featured October 1-November 5 in a solo exhibition organized by Projective City in Paris.
This exhibition is made possible, in part, with the support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Sculpture Space, Inc. and the NYS Council on the Arts.