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HUMMER-Hating Artist Hacks H2 Into Horse Cart, Cites Hoover

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Artist Jeremy Dean with half a Hummer H2 for his work, "Back to the Futurama," January 2010

Artist Jeremy Dean with half a Hummer H2 for his work, "Back to the Futurama," January 2010

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Ah, conceptual art. Clearly our country would be less colorful were it not for the efforts of, say, New York artist Jeremy Dean, who got inspired reading about horse-drawn "Hoover carts" made during the Depression from old car bodies.

From there, it was just a short leap to buying a used HUMMER H2--the biggest, baddest, heaviest, meanest symbol of SUV dominance ever built for sale in the U.S.--cutting it in half with a torch, and turning it into...a horse cart.

Yep. He cut up a perfectly good H2, which he bought used for $15,000. That's a good price, apparently, since H2s have now been out of production for many months and it's not clear that GM's sale of HUMMER to Chinese firm Tengzhong will go through.

Model of Hummer H2 horse-drawn carriage by artist Jeremy Dean for his work,

Model of Hummer H2 horse-drawn carriage by artist Jeremy Dean for his work,

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Model of Cadillac Escalade horse carriage by artist Jeremy Dean for his work,

Model of Cadillac Escalade horse carriage by artist Jeremy Dean for his work,

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Hoover Cart, 1932

Hoover Cart, 1932

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The project is called "Back to the Futurama," alluding to the Futurama displays mounted at both the 1939-1940 and 1964-1965 New York Worlds' Fairs by General Motors, with a nod to the famous 1985 movie "Back to the Future."

Dean has quite a lot to say on the genesis of the project on his website. A few excerpts ...

"At this time of record financial gains, the auto industry began producing ever extravagant cars and SUVs. These huge American gas guzzlers became a status symbol in society leading to increased demand for oil and fuel prices soared.

"So with our very American idea of Manifest Destiny, we meddle in any country that has oil and send our men and women into harms way so that we can continue consuming almost 80% of the worlds resources. But how long can that last?

"My own satirical prediction of the future: Unless we come up with alternative fuel sources and rethink our reliance on a hyperinflated consumer based economy, we may be left with no other options than to hook our cars up to a horse.

"As a symbol of this I [will] take either a Cadillac Escalade or HUMMER H2, which have become monuments to America's consumption, greed and arrogance, and convert it to a horse cart.

"The cart will maintain all its former glitz and glamour: chrome rims, GPS, working sound system, DVD player, and TV screens. But [it] will be pulled by a horse. "

Now being built at Slick's Garage in Palmetto, Florida, the finished HUMMER carriage will premiere during New York City's Armory Week, starting March 3.

Dean would like to sell the piece, to recoup his costs (he's sunk his life savings into the project), and fund a series of horse-cart HUMMERs and Escalades. They include one whose entire body has been chromed, a pumpkin carriage suited for Cinderella, and more.

Our final thought: Given the HUMMER's military roots, it's doubly ironic to display the artwork in a functioning armory, which houses actual military Humvees. They get parked on Manhattan side streets when the building is used for events.

[Back to the Futurama]

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Comments (30)
  1. Would be a hit at Burning Man. He's got to be able to find a Museum of Modern Art somewhere that will take it off his hands. I guess that's what has become of our economy: speculative installation art.
     
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  2. What a waste of an expensive car. If he wanted a horse cart he could have just bought a horse cart.
     
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  3. Amazing call about Burning Man, R2Dad. I think this would be the actual Burning Man's transporation!
     
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  4. i hope the guy that sold his H2 to this guy never has the guts to show his face in America again
     
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  5. Some people have too much time on their hands. What a waste of a great vehicle but I guess everyone needs their 15 minutes of fame.
     
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  6. Ummmmm ... Cognac World / TeaParty ... it's ART. You know, it's meta commentary.
    Oh. Wait. Meta. Way too complicated. Never mind.
     
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  7. I bet this would do really well in China :P
    Not a big fan of the Great Depression allusions though. We don't need life imitating THAT kind of art.
     
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  8. Why not get 300 horses and hook them up to a Hummer with the engine removed? Now that's conceptual art...and a statement about conspicuous consumption?
     
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  9. Well, it might be a little obvious, but it's a fairly interesting concept, and it documents an slice of Americana I knew nothing about. However, on a practical note, I'm a little concerned by an artist who's known mostly as a filmmaker sinking his life savings into a visual art project without any formal gallery representation. I mean, a group show at the Armory is great, but his piece will be one of dozens on display. These days, unless you've got an MFA in studio art (Dean doesn't), it's hard to convince galleries and collectors to take you seriously.
    _
    As for the folks lamenting the loss of a perfectly good car, don't worry: the H2 wasn't perfectly good in the first place.
     
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  10. Good point about gallery representation Richard...Jeremy is with Creative Thrift Shop.
    And I love the point about H2 not being "a perfectly good car to begin with." At least now it won't be doing any more polluting.
    Having known Jeremy for quite a few years I'm betting he will get plenty of mileage out of the car, and what he is doing to it.
    And if it means a bunch of kids in school today take the time to learn about the original Hoovercarts and [in Canada] Bennet Buggies, then IMHO job well done.
     
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  11. i thought this guy was serving time after the "balloon boy" hoax?
     
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  12. as a burning man alumini I would say that this is truly the most creative vehicle seen...
     
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  13. Hello
    I am always interested in hummer and its like my dream car.This Hummer H2 with horse carriage looks something strange and interesting concept.Thank you very much for this good post.
     
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  14. His artwork will actually run counter to his anti-capitalist intentions.
    Most people will get that he is critiquing consumption...and yet, the end result still glorifies the mighty Hummer and Cadillac.
    It's like gory war movies where the director tries to embed criticism of the US military...somehow the GI's still look like heroes. Example: Springsteen's Born in the USA is seen by most as a triumphant celebration of the US despite Bruce's intentions.
    The anti-car artist is using lots of resources and chrome to make his 'statements'...so he is feeding the energy and resource intensive specialty custom auto market he despises.
    One little artist makes a little piece of art and meanwhile thousands of real HMMVs roll through the Iraq/Afghan theater and lots of large SUVs roll off assembly lines into consumer's drive ways.
    You lose Mr. Artistic Metaphor Man
     
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  15. Impressive. Very impressive!
     
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  16. OMG!! creativity!!
     
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  17. Wow this is really nice idea, Hummer with horse!!
     
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  18. I think i saw this at the start of Mad Max 3!
     
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  19. This kind of crap is exactly what is wrong with this country. We are living in a real scarcity society where people are basically taught to hate SUVs and trucks and such, and why? Because of oil? Because of global warming? Those aren't the causes of our problems. Our problem with war isn't because we have to go to war to win oil. Oil-rich nations gladly trade with the US for oil. He thinks he is being inventive, but he doesn't realize how lucky we are that we don't have to live with horses pulling everything. Just the amount of sh-t alone would be repulsive. Horses were are very expensive, and in medieval times, only the very rich could afford to have them, and it was forbidden oftentimes for anyone other than the aristocracy to ride horses. I just want to make myself crystal clear: WE DO NOT FIGHT WARS BECAUSE WE NEED OIL. In fact, the real reason that oil isn't being drilled in the US is because it was cheaper to do so in Saudi Arabia. The wars we fight have to do with several factors and among them are the military-industrial complex, Israel, and a need by domestic politicians to have a new cold war.
     
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  20. Ignore that last post, i need to get laid.
     
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  21. @JaredM
    You're a tool. By saying we don't NEED oil, you are lying - the US is dependent on almost every other oil producing nation in the world. When you say its only taken from the Middle East because its cheaper, you're saying that the THOUSANDS of soldiers who have fought and died over there were worth significantly less than it would have cost to simply drill here! I'm certain there would be several hundred thousand angry armed soldiers right now that would LOVE to reeducate you.
    As to the car...A nice idea, but what kind of horse could pull a hummer? Even with the block removed it would still be over a ton easily.
    And there is not much irony in this being displayed in an armory - the H2 would be destroyed long before it made it from an actual base to an actual combat zone. Hummer != Humvee. They never have and they never will. Stop perpetuating the stereotype that Hummers are military vehicles!
     
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  22. Your talent, dedication and social conscience are awesome. Keep it up!
     
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  23. lol, so he is doing this in a garage with a Maserati and tons of classic cars and trucks that get horrible MPG. Some of the cars I see in the background are most likely in the sub 10 MPG range. Typical hypocrite. Oh, and 12 MPG was the average for the H2, same as every quad cab pickup, V8 SUV or anything with a Hemi in it gets today.
     
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  24. wow..nice job dude..
    keep working..
     
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  25. What would Jeremy Dean do? He'd make you think by cutting up a Hummer and making it a horse drawn cart. The finished product is light enough that Jeremy can pull it by himself, so the concerns about it's wieght and whether or not the horses can pull it are unfounded. The thought that a Hummer is a useful car in Orlando (where he got it from) is laughable. Good job Jeremy! The blog's looking awesome, and best of luck at the show. To those who are critiquing him because of his lack of art education think about the implications of demanding an artist to have a masters to even be considered to be a reputable artist. Legalistic much? Thanks to Fretto too for keeping my posted on the project.
     
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  26. weather or not the guy is a hippie and you have a problem with that, just take a look at the vehicle. It is well "designed" it is a very ingenious take on an modern "Stage Coach" I personally think this guy would make a killing on selling these modified Hummers if he were to make it drivable, IE without the horses. I could see all kinds of kids wanting to ride to their highschool proms, couples arriving to weddings, ect ect ect in one of these. Hell imagine if he were to make it a stretch hummer stage coach. That would be cool as hell!
     
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  27. What is wrong with people, this is not creative, impressive, ingenious, or art. This is a purely business based idea with a 60,000 dollar profit prediction. Conceptual Art.... more like, get your helmet n crayons and go sit in the corner. Hey even better thought, make a few more, box'em up, sell'em (excuse me) FINANCE'em in the WAL-MART parking lot.
     
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  28. This is great! If this was done in the name of fame, at least he went balls out and used his creativity. I agree that many may get the wrong idea about the piece. It will be glamorized rather than understood. But those who don't get what it stands for are those who are the blind contributors of the greed and arrogance that this stands against. Those who think its a waste of a perfectly good auto, well...News Flash. It was a GM. Nuff said. BRAVO JEREMY!
     
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  29. I saw an H2 truck last week with the personalized plate Hummer will be starting with a seven bar grille and a name synonymous with gas-guzzling behemoths.
     
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  30. If only every Hummer was cut in half… 
     
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