We don’t always get the opportunity to experience amazing art from around the world in the flesh, but the rare chance does occasionally pop up. In the case of Ichwan Noor’s “Sphere Beetle”, currently installed in the foyer the National Gallery of Victoria, it’s really more “in the metal”.
This rather unique installation from the Indonesian artist and arts professor looks like some sort of optical illusion. But no, it really is the iconic Volkswagen Beetle in the shape of a sphere.
As NGV assistant curator Serena Bentley discovered while speaking to Noor, the Beetle is actually a specially-crafted duplicate and not a real — albeit distorted — car:
…the work features the twentieth-century design classic warped into a sphere comprised of authentic and fabricated components. To avoid the damage involved in reshaping a real car, Noor carved a spherical polyurethane replica of the vehicle’s body and then cast it in aluminium. A separate spherical interior was produced and fit to the cast exterior. The resulting sculpture is augmented with original car parts by the manufacturer to complete the illusion.
The best part of all this? You don’t have to stick with photos. If you’re currently in Victoria, you can check out the Beetle Sphere at the National Gallery of Victoria right now. There’s no cost for general entry, so feel free to pop in anytime during opening hours.