Art Destination: Erik Sommer’s Concrete Car

August 16, 2017 David Behringer

Art Destination: Erik Sommer’s Concrete Car

Take a walk down a lonely dead-end road in an industrial Brooklyn neighborhood, enter an obscure parking lot, and find Fastnet, one of the strangest (and must-see) galleries in New York City. Created by James Powers, it’s a 20’x8’x8′ shipping container (check out images of it’s creation) that hosts compact and incredible art exhibitions.

And on view at this one-of-a-kind viewing room, every Sunday from 4-8pm through August 27th, is Erik Sommer’s sculpture/installation “Volvo 240”: a real Volvo, coated completely in concrete.

Erik Sommer: Volvo 240, 2017

Erik purchased the car in Beacon, New York for $600 and drove it into the city (at a soon-discovered top-speed of 40 mph). Once inside the “gallery”, it was primed with white gesso and painted with 35 lbs. of concrete in 4 layers –  thick enough to cover it completely, but thin enough to show a high degree of detail. Without initially knowing the process, it’s magically confusing whether it’s a real car or a sculpture of a car. Either way, it’s an enticingly claustrophobic experience.

Erik Sommer: Volvo 240 (detail)

Erik Sommer: Volvo 240, (detail)

The car was chosen for its sculptural quality and its particular scale in relation to the space (detailed measurements were taken before purchasing the car). Parked slightly to one side, it allows JUST enough room to squeeze to the back.

Erik Sommer: Volvo 240, 2017

Erik Sommer: Volvo 240 (model)

This is a work that demands you see it in person – not just because of the concrete dust you’ll inevitably track home on your jeans and hands (yes you can gently touch), but because the sculpture is in a perfect and purposeful context. Beyond the shipping container itself, the industrial neighborhood through which you walk is a strange, awe-inspiring and partially-decaying backdrop. Though the work may be shown in a gallery at a later date (there are rumors), you’ll never have a chance to see it again like this. Only 2 more Sundays (through August 27th).

The directions are a bit confusing. Here is how to hit it on your first try:

#1:  Just use this Google Pin that the gallery created. I had it open on my phone the full walk, and can vouch for its total accuracy.

Or – Step by step:

  1.  Go to IKEA in Redhook Brooklyn
    (a) I took the F train to the Smith & 9th Street stop
    (b) Then jump on the free “IKEA shuttle” – it’s directly outside the subway stop (look for the bus stop sign)
  2. Once at IKEA, follow the walking map (above). When you think you’ve walked way too far along an unfamiliar road, you’ll see a cardboard “FASTNET” sign (below). Enter the following fence entrance into the parking lot on the right.
  3. Fastnet is on the south side of the parking lot, behind a more-noticeable green shipping container.

What: Erik Sommer’s “Volvo 240”
Where: Fastnet Gallery – Redhook New York (see Google Map)
When: Through August 27th.  Open Sundays 4-8pm. Also open by appointment:

All images courtesy of the artist and Fastnet Gallery New York.

Previous Article
Modern Water Containers That Reference Historical Times
Modern Water Containers That Reference Historical Times

A series of plastic water bottles that utilize modern production techniques while retaining historical deta...

Next Article
Slowdown Studio Launches Latest Collection Designed by Chaz Bear
Slowdown Studio Launches Latest Collection Designed by Chaz Bear

Slowdown Studio launched new limited edition blankets by artist and musician Chaz Bear, aka Toro y Moi fron...