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Rusted Portraits on Vintage Car Hoods by A Milwaukee Ad Agency Creative Director.

Milwaukee-based artist and furniture maker Michael Stodola, whose day job is actually that of a Creative Director at ad agency Boelter + Lincoln, utilizes found objects in his creation of upcycled furniture, art and objects for his own brand, Milwaukee Modern.

above: The Hot Rod Table and RC Mirror are typical of the upcycled products from Milwaukee Modern.

When Boelter + Lincoln decided to adopt the image of Abe Lincoln for their company, they asked Stodola to create a visual that would help brand the agency. And voila! His oxidized portraits atop vintage car hoods were born. To create his first one, Stodola, who normally uses materializes he comes across or already has, sought out a ’75 Lincoln hood, which he eventually found on Craigslist. After some trial and error, he managed to carve Lincoln’s portrait into the car’s hood to his satisfaction.

Stodola prepared a recipe to oxidize the art into the car hood by using iron filings, sea salt and some chemicals. After he drew the image of Lincoln onto large pieces of paper, he glued it to the hood and ground through it so the image was engraved on the metal. Then he applied the rusting recipe he found on the internet and let the mixture sit overnight.

“It was a pretty remarkable thing to come out the next morning and the hood looked like it’d been sitting outside for 20 years,” Stodola told Earth911.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not got wind of the hood and asked Stodola to make another for their touring collection.

Since the first one, Stodola has created a second Lincoln hood portrait on a 1982 Lincoln Town Car and a Che Guevara hood portrait on a 1962 Chevy Nova. 

The Lincoln, Wall art, 64” x 64”:

The rusted image of Abraham Lincoln ground into the paint of a 1975 Lincoln Continental hood. The piece weighs approximately 75 lbs and has been sold. However, they can make more upon request.

The Lincoln 002, Wall art, 63” x 54”

The rusted image of Abraham Lincoln ground into the paint of a 1982 Lincoln Town Car hood. The piece is approximately 35 lbs. This baby is touring in the permanent collection of “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” museums.

El Chevrolet, Wall art:

The rusted image of Che Guevara ground into a 1962 Chevy Nova hood. Hood is topped with an actual 1958 license plate from Havana. Please contact us for pricing and more information.

About Milwaukee Modern (in their own words):

Milwaukee Modern creates from the soul. We are beholden to no one and the expression found within our work is cemented deeply in self. We love to play, be creative and eat banana cream pie. We also dig the modern movement running headlong into the green movement – it’s where we live. Upcycling the crap into useful, extraordinarily beautiful objects. We’re inspired by many others out there and hope we spur some inspiration as well. Peace.

above: Michael Stodola and his children

Give them a call at 414.232.9788 or email them for pricing and information on their work.

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