Archive for the ‘Vintage Car’ Category

Mannaheim Progressive Pro-Choice Clinic

December 7, 2016
Women's Medical Centre with earliest motor vehicle by Karl Benz, © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Pro-Brick Society

Woman’s Medical Centre with 1886 Benz Patent Motorcar (Oils on canvas on wood, 50,3 x 62,8cm)

Photographic reproduction of a painting which is positioned  somewhere on the borderline demarcating the difference between the entirely satisfactory with added interest, and one of the lesser efforts in the field of true painting. Due to experiments with the preparation and priming of the canvas, the behavior of the paint was unexpected. Thus the ebetweenxecution lacks fluency. The technically inferior quality of the photographic reproduction adds to the impression of a very strange atmosphere permeating the picture, ambiguously oscillating between  moodiness and Objectivism. The symbolism; moon, spiral, car, and brick, is rather balanced, but with the addition of some sea shells, it is clearly shifted into the realm of female reproduction. (Of course, this is based on highly untrustworthy  assessments of gender-classification of objects. Ed.)

The building does, or at least did, actually exist, somewhere on the British Islands. The photocopy of a photograph of the building from a book on Brutalist architecture garnered at the Düsseldorf Central Library some 25 years ago exists, yet, due to negligence, lacks any inscription for further contextual elucidation of the source. So neither information on the architect nor the actual location of this interestingly proportioned edifice can be provided, much to this author’s disgust.

This painting is based on that drawing. Drawing is finer, possibly more accomplished. Yet the painting adds something. Mostly it adds the je-ne-sais-quoi. Painting and explanatory note © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Pro-Brick Society IPB

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Haus Ziegler, Lepsiusstraße 112, Berlin-Steglitz

January 30, 2016
Haus Ziegler, Lepsiusstr 112, Berlin-Steglitz, with 1936 Opel Olympia, Architect Hugo Häring, 1936, this drawing ©2017 by Torsten Slama

Hugo Häring, Haus Ziegler, Lepsiusstr, with 1936 Opel Olympia
(A3; 42×29,7cm)

Colour correctness of this image can only be approximate. Possible peachy hues befit the intended atmosphere. This building can still be found at the address Lepsiusstraße 112 in Berlin Steglitz. This rendering depicts it surrounded by vegetation not typical for this region. The rest of the setting is fairly accurate, though partly guesswork. The German car in the foreground is of exactly the same date as the portrayed edifice. While the building is starkly modernist and, indeed, conceptual, the car is a slightly Germanized and downsized version of a Ford car. Picture the building as an old and also moderately neglected farm house in Vermont, picture the car as a Ford, and try and consider the person inside the house. This person is not the engineer Fritz Ziegler, but a different kind of character. After having unsuccessfully tried to stay of a beleaguerment by local aliens which are indeed not aliens but a kind of native sort of aliens (or, “Old Ones”), the original Ziegler was transferred to a metal cylinder while the actual person inside the house is not really a person but one of those said aliens, who has taken the place of Ziegler. You enter that place, expecting to find Ziegler, wanting to discuss his predicament. He, it, she (the impostor), is sitting in an armchair, has a buzzy voice, doesn’t move the lips while talking almost inaudibly, and occasionally nods to lend the mask it is wearing  a semblance of liveliness. Also, a pair of gloves are needed to hide the claw-like appendices. The legs are altogether useless, since their chitinous character makes them awkward and noisy as tools of propulsion on the medium of a wooden floor. It is good that there is a car in front of that house. If you are able to operate it, you might be able to flee this place. Some people might consider that angle in the house’s front as the most telling of its evil modernist hallmarks. In truth, it can be easily imagined that that angle, once you have gotten used to it, endears you to this place. What with that special kind of decorative and frost-resistant facade, the clinkers arranged in an order called the “Prüß-Verband”.Atmospheric rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Pro Brick Society

Cologne St. John Baptist with 1901 Oldsmobile Runabout

October 11, 2015
St. John Baptist Church (Cologne) by Karl Band, with 1901 Oldsmobile Runabout

Karl Band, Cologne St. John Baptist, with 1901 Oldsmobile Runabout (A3; 42×29,7cm)

This is a beautiful example of the art of repair and rebuilding, as practised widely in the middle of the former century, in this undisclosed place, which met with generous structural destruction in the second half of the Second Great War, and thus had a chance to develop a unique style of modernity in rebuilding, a style which flourished for only a little more than one decade, only to be replaced by a still unique, but aesthetically rather unsatisfactory industrialized construction process, using holistically questionable materials like Ytong, autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC), calcium silicate units, and mineral insulation board.

In this short blessed phase before the chemical industrial complex got on its feet again and took over the construction market, brick was the preferred building material; often recycled from the rubble which was lying around in great quantities to be collected and reused or heaped wholesale into artificial hills. Concrete, if it was used, remained mostly unadorned and unhidden, its surface showing the marks of the cast in which it was poured, a practice which developed, outside of its niche as a method of artistic repair for churches and damaged art museums, into a fashion, an alternative International Style utilizing less glass and steel, more brick and concrete, mostly employed in the construction of publically funded municipal buildings, police stations, universities, or social housing projects. This style, though, did not really take hold here, in this undisclosed place, but abroad, were minds were more open, less  numbed.

This church, first recorded in the year 1090, suffered extensive damage during the war, and then became what was locally praised a jewel of modern reconstruction, a reconstruction which was realized by the architect/builder Karl Band, who could be considered the North Rhine Westphalian version of the Bavarian Hans Döllgast.

This church now serves as a combined worship and convention center for the CRUX youth movement, which aims to spiritually cleanse and refresh the world though collective missionary itineracy.

This rendering of that church is embellished with an imaginary natural scenery in the background, a slightly enlarged vintage motorcar, and the stylized depiction of a floating device housing a solar propulsion motor. Atmospheric rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Pro Brick Society