Zafod Beatlebrox opens www.AmazingFunctionalArt.com
Local artist Zafod Beatlebrox, founder of the now defunct Music Taxi, a service that gave passengers opportunities to sing karaoke while riding to their destinations, has embarked on a new adventure.
Beatlebrox, who has created public art installments that can be seen throughout Summit County, decided he needed to focus on creating more functional art.
So, he set up a website, http://www.amazingfunctionalart.com so people could commission him for various projects.
"I’m hoping to do any kind of art people will dream up, whether they want interior or exterior décor, or basically anything they want made," Beatlebrox told The Park Record during an interview at his home in Brown’s Canyon. "I have a complete welding shop and work with metals, and teach a metal work class. But I also work with other mediums as well."
Beatlebrox is open to any ideas and has some of his own that he is excited to tell new clients about.
"Right now, I have a chap that has commissioned me to create an art car for the Burning Man Festival," Beatlebrox said. "It will be a 20-foot-long fish mobile."
The vehicle will be modeled after a pilot fish and will seat 14 people, and will have a crow’s nest area on the top.
"It has a fifth-wheel arrangement where the front two wheels are the drive car and then there will be a trailer that will move back and forth and the tail will also move side to side," Beatlebrox said. "The car will be able to do a double bend, and the mouth will open and close."
Beatlebrox is excited about the color.
"It will have eight-inch-wide stripes made out of scales," he said. "One stripe will be rusted metal. The alternating stripes will be galvanized metal, and each scale will be curved outward with an LED light behind it, so at night it will light up in waves of color."
Beatlebrox is also working on a planter made out of 1985 Oldsmobile Toranado for an upcoming exhibit in Coalville.
"I took the rear end and the front end and blended them together on one wheelwell," he said. "It’s on two tires and the center has been cut out to make the planter."
Still, the artist said there is no project too big or too small.
"I’m open to suggestions," he said. "I’ve created smaller items such as lamps and tables."
His kitchen is also adorned with cabinet doors made out of hubcaps and tinners rivets.
"I ran into these rivets in the mid-1970s when I worked for a company in Boston that made dust-collection systems for woodshops," Beatlebrox said. "I learned how to work with them there."
Once a client contacts Beatlebrox, he or she will discuss the project and the price.
"Pricing has to do with what’s involved in the work, and we’ll look at the materials and scale and come up with an agreement."
Beatlebrox has been interested in art since he was in high school.
"I remember taking study hall and found it was just a waste of time," he said with a laugh. "So, I enrolled in art classes after that."
Beatlebox’s interest in art has to do with his dyslexia.
"I don’t do as well with words as others do, but I do well in the sciences and I understand how things work," he said. "Unfortunately, I never had the vision that I could make a living out of art, and throughout my life, it was more of an elaborate hobby."
His draw to metal emerged during his post-college, industrial career.
"I didn’t finish college, and worked in blue-collar type jobs," Beatlebrox said. "I did a lot in the mechanical and industrial fields, and there were many times when I would look at my materials and thought of different things I could do artistically."
Throughout the years, Beatlebrox has created functional art for his friends and himself for years.
"Mostly it had been as a sideline," he said. "When I closed Music Taxi, I knew I had to do so something."
So, he tapped into 21st Century advertising, also known as the Internet, and created the website.
"I named it Amazing Functional Art, not because I’m egotistical, but because I needed to use a banner that people will jump on," he said.
For more information, visit http://www.amazingfunctionalart.com.
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In the closing scenes of the about-to-be released documentary “Public Trust,” environmental journalist Hal Herring says this of the battle over public lands: “You only have a right to what you are willing to fight for.”