Art Or Not: The Art Car Controversy









In a 2008 post on Apartment, Adrienne Breaux showcased the art car behind the South Austin Popular Culture Center car as an interesting planter.

The post caused the same colorful reaction as the temporary pieces of art covering the blue signs on the

Lamar tunnel. People either loved it… or hated it:

“I hate rusty metal crap in the garden. This is amusing, but only for a second. Austin seems to be an counterpoint to actual design.” – Palmetto

“I live in Austin and while junk like this is a part of the whole “Keep Austin Weird” vibe in certain parts of town, this “planter” by no means defines Austin design. Austin is NOT, as Palmetto states “a counterpoint to actual design”. Quite the contrary, Austin is a vibrant city full of beautiful homes and creative people. By the way, I think the car/cactus combo is awful.” – Tinkums

“This is gross. its not recycling at all, its turning your yard into a landfill. The responsible thing to do would be to have the car turned into scrap metal, which is then actually melted and turned into new products. This just looks like a pile of rusting s**t.” – nordicfreak

“Hideous lawn garbage.” – Griffin

Not everyone hated the car.

“Reminds me of the car in Kensington Market in Toronto. (See picture on left.) It’s permanently parked on the street and has lots of plants growing on it. The city towed it last year and everyone was (rightfully) PISSED. Now its back and everyone is happy.” – KatieCh

“Having lived in one of our barrios in Tucson, I learned to love rusty crap in the garden–there is a “barrio garden,” with its unique aesthetic, included in our Botanical Gardens. But I stopped short of planting the rusting model T I found in the backyard of my house and had it hauled away.” – jen_g

“What is with all the Egads-why-I-never comments? Ladies, don’t choke on your cucumber sandwiches. This kind of stuff is all over the Southwest. Maybe it would be weird in Newport, but haven’t you ever seen the flag of Texas? It’s just got the Alamo and an old car full of cactus on it. Anyway, I’m not loving the overall look in the top photo. Nix the graffiti and put that junk in front of a solid red house and I’m totally in.” – little ribbons

“Well, I LOVE it! But then, I’m from Brownsville and I live in Austin.” – csaustin

“We bought some land that has a cute little Ranchero rusting away and I’ve thought of something like this. But I have a fantasy that Neil Young will someday want to restore it and we’ll give it to him for a song. I’ve read that he likes to save old junkers.” – Kate (NC)

So what do you think of the car, which happens to have a new coat of paint? Is it art or not?

Photo from


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