From their humble beginnings as ordinary automobiles to their often twisted tales of becoming art, art cars are all about story. Some cars even take on their own personas and become… real.
There are also stories about seeing the car, driving the car, fixing the car, wrecking the car, causing wrecks with the car… No matter how you look at, an art car tells many stories.
But what of the artist behind the car? Are the stories more about the artist than they are about the car? Can you pick the artist out of a crowd just by looking at his or her car? Is the art car a reflection of the artist's inner secrets?
Consider the art car, The Duke, by artist Rick McKinney.
The Duke is covered with stuff from bumper to bumper, from floorboard to roof… each plastic toy with a tale to tell, each suitcase with a long lost past, each bone with a body now gone. Each of them full of story.
All of that adds up to a hefty load. While the car may carry the physical weight of all of that stuff, the artist is left with the psychic weight of all that story.
It just so happens that this particular artist is also a writer… full of stories all his own. Put the two together with years of glue and gonzo living, and the weight becomes too much for either of them to bear. The car engine conks out, and the artist goes mad… things both are apt to do when driven too far.
The Duke is parked until further notice. The Artist sets out to hike the Appalachian Trail.
In his new book, Dead Men Hike No Trails, artist Rick McKinney tells the story of how he traveled over 2,000 miles on foot – without any car, let alone his beloved art car – to re-discover himself without all the stuff, to sort through it all and remember his own story, to cast away that which is no longer needed and create himself anew, to write a whole new story…
Ironically, in so doing, McKinney ends up telling one of the oldest stories known to man, The Hero's Journey.
From the moment you open the book, you know this hero is on a journey of mammoth proportions, a test of body, mind and spirit that can break even the strongest of men. You are invited to join this journey as the hero opens his head and pours the words onto the page with an artful flair for detail. Whether it's the first night out in a huge rainstorm or the numbing off-trail experience at Barnes & Noble Bookstore, you are right there with him sharing the beauty of nature and the pain of existential angst.
Like all classics Hero's Journey myths, Dead Men Hike No Trails comes complete with ghosts, faeries, gods, and goddesses as well as the mystery and magic of life along the Applachian Trail. So, get out your hiking boots and hit the trail… you are in for an unforgettable journey!
Read an excerpt here.
Order your own copy.