Jan/Feb 2019 edition
Issue #3 AutoMobilia Resource Magazine
Michael Furman - Cover Photographer
The thought of this damp, musty space causes memories to flood back – the smell of overflowed gas streaking down the sides of the gas pump, the slick spots on the floor – now is that coolant, oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid or black cherry soda – all reminding me of the wretched Econoline Van with the 3-on-the-tree, on which I learned to drive a manual shift.
There’s a can of Simoniz in some state of disrepair, but I’m sure it was never used on the Econoline. There were a number of 1-quart oil cans, most with their tops cut off – some filled with nuts and bolts, another filled with nails, and a few of them with the tops punctured, and some undetermined amount of undefined liquid in them.
Karen’s work is a poke in the eye. She glorifies the design of the original artist by magnifying it (in some instances by quite a lot) and forcing us to appreciate what was created on a can that sat on a shelf beside countless other cans, all of which silently screamed “look at ME!” The fact that each piece is instantly recognized is a measure of their success. Much of Karen’s work is made to order, if you have something unique and personal, send her a picture, maybe she can help you relive your youth. Prices vary. Many are in the $1,600 range, but most importantly, every piece is wonderful.
Karen Shapiro’s outsized ceramic versions are reminders of the detritus that still litters the aging walls and dirt floors of our memories. Her versions never really rust or leak, but they are reminders of the ones that did. All they require is a gentle dusting from time to time to remind us of old cars and old friends, when everything was simpler.
Please visit WinfieldGallery.com to see more of Karen’s work.