New York-based artist Jordan Griska bases his practice on recreating objects that represent aspects of American culture and history. With his sculpture Wreck, he created a model of a Mercedes-Benz S550 out of nearly 12,000 individual pieces of reflective stainless steel. The reflective sculpture is currently in a private collection outside of Philadelphia, but was on public view for a short period at Pier 9 with Philadelphia Contemporary.
According to a former studio assistant, the piece was commissioned several years ago as a replica of the original Benz that the owner had crashed. Originally conceived in glass, the project moved into steel and was created without the assistance of 3D scanning. More than a year and a half of careful research and engineering went into moving the piece from digital model to finished artwork. A truly dynamic work, the shimmering, reflective sculpture can only be fully appreciated by walking fully around the piece, taking in how light and environment change its shape and dimension.
Acting as a contradiction, the work is both fractured and appears as one continuous piece. It’s this push and pull that plays into Griska’s intentions. “The sculpture mirrors the peak of today’s automobile industry by using digital technology and meticulous handcraft to subvert both utopian dreams and reality,” shares Philadelphia Contemporary. “Spectacular and haunting, Wreck captures the dual nature of American culture by contrasting wealth, freedom, and individuality with decadence, debauchery, and tailspin, as flip sides of the same coin.”
Wreck by Jordan Griska is made from almost 12,000 pieces of reflective stainless steel.
Watch the artist discuss his process for making this complex contemporary sculpture.
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