1. The Canvertible by NJ-based art car guy, Stephen Hooper (AKA: Hoop). His Canvertible is a Fiat 850 decorated with aluminum cans, and although he has a penchant for gold and silver spray paint, some of the original beverage branding does show through in spots.
Mr. Hooper, who goes by the name Hoop, is an artist who uses cars as canvas, making what he considers a public art form. He refuses to give his age, but when a garbage collector who stopped to gawk at his works guessed 45, he allowed that it was not a bad estimate. He has created dozens of car-based artworks over the last 15 years, sometimes putting the same vehicle through several incarnations.
The consistent threads in his works are imagination, recyclable materials and contact cement. Beyond that, every creation is one of a kind, and usually relates to more traditional artwork he is doing at the time...
…Although he used to work in studios in Manhattan, on 14th Street and Prince Street, Mr. Hooper returned a few years ago to the Clifton house he grew up in when his mother had a stroke and needed care.
His vehicles, unusual in any setting, seem all the more surprising on his prototypical suburban New Jersey street.
Artist Takes the Ordinary For an Extraordinary Spin
By Roberta Zeff
The New York Times, Sunday, October 22, 2000
2. Buggy is a model of a beach buggy made by New Zealand-based Sandy Sanderson from 30 Waikato Beer cans. For Sanderson, the beverage branding is a key feature of his “can cars.”
When I was 40 years old I started to play the electric bass and joined a local band for more than 12 years. This led me to change from model aeroplanes to designing and building electric stringed instruments. It had been my intention to retire from teaching and carry on full time as a luthier.
Unfortunately, I had an accident on the bike that shattered my left wrist. This required reconstructive surgery, 4 plates, 8 screws, and a bone graft off the hip, to fix it. The great news is that I can still ride the bike and do stuff like that. The not so great news is that I have lost the sensitivity, fine control, and strength that was there previously. No more working with woodworking power tools! No more sensitive bass riffs!
While I was off work recovering from the accident I picked up the drawing instruments and started taking a serious look at the Coruba and Cola cans that I had held back from the recycler. I have seen pictures of some very fine model aircraft made from drinks cans but they had the plain aluminum from the inside of the cans on the outside of the model. This defeats the purpose of using the drinks can as far as I am concerned. You want everyone who looks to be able to see instantly what your basic resource was. Celebrate the fact, don't hide it!
from Sanderson’s Can Car website
(Photos of each artist and more of their work, after the fold…)
On left: Stephen D. Hooper (AKA: Hoop); on right: Sandy Sanderson
Hooper was also the sole heir named in the will of friend, Baird Jones (a 1980s NY party promoter) and is himself, a tireless promoter. Some of his international media coverage of his various “art cars,” below:
More of Sanderson’s “can cars” and a mechanical drawing showing plans for his Coke can “Hot Rod” below:
Beach Packaging Design