Thursday Salute to Originals: Punch Buggies

What if Herbie were an actual bug?

French artist Eduardo Martinet creates insect sculptures from discarded car parts. From ants to wasps to beetles, Martinet crafts lifelike forms in motion by screwing together sheet metal, bits of timing chains, and whole engine parts.

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While Martinet’s lifelong fascination with insects is the most common subject of his work, he has also mastered creating other small creatures like birds and fish from junked automobiles.

The way Martinet sources the material for each creature is perhaps the most interesting part of his work. Rather than deconstructing car parts to fit the form of the bug he’s creating, the sculptor will spend months to years searching for the perfect piece that fits naturally into its form.

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The artist’s meticulous sourcing process combined with his signature hand-screwed sculpting technique results in robotic-looking animals with parts that look specifically crafted for their bodies. Some pieces blend so perfectly that the bots could almost pass for the real thing.

This Thursday, we’re saluting Eduardo Martinet and his robotic insects and tiny creatures. Each careful assembly reflects a painstaking and meticulous art, resulting in creations that are lifelike and graceful.

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An exhibition of Martinet’s work just opened at Bettina von Armin Gallery in Paris this June. You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the sculptor’s process on Instagram.

Sources: Edward Martinet, This is Colossal