Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hunter Mann, the man with the van.

In the tradition of nearly inexplicable crossroads-of-the-world things that occasionally happen here in New Harmony...last week my friend Caroline called and said “Hey, there’s this guy with this great art car downtown, I think he’s leaving in five minutes, you’ve got to come now!”

People were gathering like ants at a picnic to gape at Hunter’s amazing van, an item inherited from his Godfather, who had riveted brass objects of every description to it for 22 years. I think he told me it weighed in at around 10 thousand pounds! People kept coming, and kept staying. He wasn’t able to leave as quickly as hoped and ended up staying the night in town. From what I gathered, he’d been in Baltimore and other points east for a variety of events and was heading back west, going to do an NPR interview in St Louis the next day, and just stopped in N.H. after pulling over at the Harmonie State Park for a swim.

I mentioned Wild Wheels, an art car documentary I’d always liked, and it turns out that he had actually worked on the film, with Les Blank’s son Harrod (an early proponent/promoter of the art car). And they have a new one out called Automorphosis, that’s on the film festival circuit right now.

Hunter lives out somewhere near the convergence of New Mexico, Arizona, and México, where they seem to have lots of film stuff going on, and also sounded like there is an Art Car Museum in the works out there. Some pictures below. The van is something that you could look over for hours and not really discover everything....but I gave it a shot. A small good thing.