Art Retreads

Art & Design

That artists can get creative with used tires shouldn’t be surprising. Artists, by nature, are masters of resourcefulness; and which modern artist could resist playing with a circle? But three contemporary artists are adding unusually glamorous twists to the humble car tire, and creating indelible art in the process.


If it weren’t for their familiar shape and form, the tire sculptures of the Belgian artist Wim Delvoye could easily be mistaken for intricately woven black lace. Delvoye hand carves staggeringly detailed designs into ordinary tires, for an effect that’s simultaneously Victorian and modern–and unfailingly gorgeous.

John Isaacs is a British-born, Berlin-based artist in whose hands rubber metamorphoses from boring to fairly unforgettable.  His 2003 World Without Men installation consists of a car tire clad in a skin of meticulously arranged disco ball mirrors. Hung with ordinary rope, the tire is recast as a glittering bauble, appearing to have just emerged from a dip in liquid anthracite.

The American artist Aaron Young’s 2009 Swing turns a no-cost tire swing into a luxury item with a twist so obvious, it’s hard not to smile ruefully. Here, Young’s used car tire hangs from a hefty 72 inch, 24 ct. gold chain—instead of common rope—for an unexpected (albeit expensive) touch of makeshift elegance.

Editor’s note: Welcome to 2Modern’s newest contributor, Promila Shastri!

Photo credits: Wim Delvoye, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Cumulus Studios
By |

1 Comment

  1. paolo

    Feb 7, 2012 at 6:24 am

    tyres contains organic chemicals (especially winter tyres), some of which are cancerous. Quite like playing with petrol. Hmmm benzene…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *