"I'm not a dentist," is the first point on an artist's manifesto stuck to the window of the "Chewbaru," a '95 Subaru refashioned into a moving homage to teeth or, more specifically, to dentures and partials of all shapes and sizes. Points nine and ten of the statement rule the Chewbaru out as the work of a twisted funeral director or kleptomaniac retirement-home worker with a thing for teeth. The inspiration? "I found a seventy-five-pound box of recycled dentures on eBay." The rest is ArtCar history.
The Chewbaru was one of a dozen-plus art cars lined up outside Midtown Global Market last night for a pre-parade party that was mainly an opportunity to examine the cars (and their people) up close. There was the camera van covered in cameras of every shape and size, several "animal" ArtCars (polar bear, dog, etc.), a fairy-themed VW bug, a car covered in toys and a mosaic of plastic beads and stars—the list goes on.
Further down the line was a Dust Bowl–inspired jalopy worthy of a Steinbeck character—every surface covered in salt-of-the-earth wisdom and the pots, pans, lamps and other necessities—not to mention some more whimsical elements, such as a rubber chicken dangling from the side.
Walking down the row of ArtCars, it's impossible not to consider exactly what kind of car you might create. The consensus at my house? Bumper-to-bumper Pokemon cards.
For more about this annual event, go to artcarparade.com.