Amazon 2002
Fibreglass and automotive paint, 95 x 80 x 80 cm
Ipswich Art Gallery Collection, 2003

Patricia Piccinini is a contemporary multi-media artist of international standing who is interested in science, abnormality, hybrids, consumerism and ‘car culture’. She is particularly fascinated by the rebellious panel van era with its air-brushed imagery, shag-piled interiors and symbolism of youthful hedonism. The combination of all these interests inspired a series of sculptures titled Car Nuggets. Like fast food ‘nuggets’ the slick, over-crafted and strangely stunted forms of the Car Nuggets are entirely about surface. The fundamental requirements of transport and automotive design are missing, leaving only aerodynamic moulding and a slick paint job – the ‘essence of car’ as Piccinini calls it. Piccinini is a contemporary artist who does not ‘make’ things in the traditional sense, but instead works closely with a range of specialised tradesmen to produce the works. The Car Nuggets were produced with a team of car-modellers and spray-painters. The mural on Amazon, reminiscent of the 1960s movie ‘Barbarella’, was created to Piccinini’s specifications by a highly skilled air-brush artist. Amazon, was first exhibited in an exhibition titled Autoerotic, which cleverly hints at self-gratification and the love of cars.