What is one of the first cars you think of when someone says Ford? The Ford Mustang. What is one of Ford’s top selling vehicles for the past 50 years? The Ford Mustang. What is full sized and made out of paper sitting in an art exhibit? The paper Mustang.
The Mustang is an American icon (soon to also be a European icon as the Mustang makes its debut over seas), there are enthusiasts, clubs, songs, and even racing series devoted to the Ford Mustang. But none of these things are cherished more than the individual memories we make with a Mustang.
Jonathan Brand who is an artist, sculptor, and art professor in Connecticut, grew up helping his father rebuild a 1969 Mustang. When he was old enough his father gave him the Mustang to continue the rebuilding process. But before the Mustang was completely finished, Jonathan had to make a decision to sell the car, to help pay for an engagement ring.
But in 2009 as a memento to the memories he had with his father while building the ’69 Mustang, he began re-imagining the experience by creating a full-sized replica of his Mustang.. this time completely out of paper. Working from photos and his own memory, Jonathan would draw the car in the computer with art and 3-D programs. He would then print pieces of the car onto sheets of paper with a large-format color printer, fold them and stick them together. He took the same approach to creating the paper car as he did when rebuilding the car. I’m the type of person who would rather go and find the original bolts and pieces and sandblast those to use in a restoration, rather than buy a new part. Still today I prefer to develop my own printer and tools for my art.”
Part of Jonathan’s experience was captured when Ford Social surprised him with a trip to the 2012 North American International Auto Show, where he also was giving the opportunity to tour the Ford design studio and meet with actual designers and their design process.
Because Jonathan and his father didn’t restored every area of their real car, he only recreated the parts that they did work on. He explained, “I only created the things we actually restored in my project like the bolts, motor and everything else you see; we didn’t restore the undercarriage so that isn’t included in the paper Mustang. It’s a replica of our work on the real Mustang restoration, up to what we did and didn’t restore.”
The project is on display at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT, through September 30, 2012, after that the Mustang’s future is still uncertain.