There are people in the world who can look at a painting and be instantly moved to tears. For some, it’s the intricacies of the execution, the subtle lines that come together in a unique shape to evoke emotion. To some people, artwork is powerful and thought-provoking while to others, it’s just something that seems frivolous, overpriced and unnecessary. I actually know people who look at a car like it’s an appliance. This is understandable if you’re in the presence of a square Nissan Cube or a Scion XB, especially if they’re silver. Even I think TOASTER when I see either one of those cars and consequently remind myself to buy more peanut butter. My point is, some people tend to see a car as a collective of plastic, metal, rubber and pleather that “takes me places.” These people think that their car gets washed every time it rains. I will never be able to comprehend this mentality. How is such perception even possible? Even the worst car ever made can evoke some kind of emotion… I think.
Look at the Pontiac Aztec. It’s the car that Walter White drove on Breaking Bad. To the owner, it screams “Hi, I really am different and cool. My striking Aztec tells you so and did I mention there is a built-in tent in the back of this thing? Why don’t you like me?” How can anyone look at that tennis shoe looking thing and not express some kind of emotion? It’s so striking and different from anything that has come along since the Edsel. I admit it, I’m emotional. To me, the Aztec says “Hi, I know I’m different from everything on the road, but I really want you to like me because my life really isn’t working out too well right now but I would never admit it out loud and did you know this thing has a built-in tent that I am never going to use? Excelsior!!” The Aztec hurts my eyes and my soul because ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved Pontiacs.
I blame my dad. He had a gold 1967 Pontiac Tempest when I came in to the world. When I was three, my parents traded that car for my first car memory: the newly redesigned 1970 Pontiac LeMans. It was Pepper Green, black vinyl top, optional rally wheels, green bucket seats and a snarly 400 cubic inch V8. It screamed“How’s it going? I know it’s the ’70s and the swinging ’60s are over, but I am still cool and there is no way the wife and these three kids are going to slow me down.” That car was art. Automobile design is art. Think about it. The average car has over thirty thousand parts on it and very well paid teams of engineers and designers all have to work together to make sure that your appliance goes down the road safely, efficiently and usually with some sense of style.
So the next time you get in to your refrigerator with keyless entry and begrudgingly begin your commute, remember that art is all around you… unless, of course, you still have that Aztec.
Erica Habedank/ CW44 Tampa Bay