It’s a Work of Art…at your local Sunoco
The AutoMobius is a true work of art and an operational motor vehicle. Built in 2003 in Buffalo, it was acquired by Mark Kubiniek as a living, breathing piece of moving art that would symbolize Buffalo’s artistic ingenuity and represent Joe’s Service Center at public events. It is on permanent daily display at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Amherst Street.
The AutoMobius is inspired by the Uroborus (also called Ouroboros) – the depiction of a serpent or dragon devouring its own tail in a self-sustaining circle. Plato described a self-eating, circular being as the first living thing in the universe—an immortal, mythologically constructed beast.
AutoMobius was designed by Virocode – the collaborative name of medical researcher Peter D’Aurira and artist Andrea Mancuso. Their work has been shown throughout the United States and Europe in venues including The Museum of Modern Art and The Kitchen in New York City, Artspace and the Emanuel Walter and Etholl McBean Galleries in San Francisco, The Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, California, Impakt Festival in The Netherlands, European Media Art Festival in Osnabruck, Germany and at the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Burchfield-Penney Art Center, CEPA Gallery, Squeaky Wheel and Hallwalls in Buffalo.
The Art on Wheels Project
The work was created in 2003 as part of the public art project “Art on Wheels” sponsored by the Burchfield-Penney Art Center. Fifty seven “art cars” (original sculptures and artistically transformed vehicles) were produced for the project (the Blue Mobile, the Jungle Car, the Streamer Car) but AutoMobius – the fusion of two mini-vans to represent the evolution and mutation of the automobile – was perhaps the most ambitious. D’Auria and Mancuso came up the concept and design, and it was built by Tony Saia at Northtown Automotive Group. As a fully operational on-the-road licensed vehicle, AutoMobius was exhibited all over the City of Buffalo during that summer, and became symbolic of the art project.
At the end of exhibition, many of the art cars were auctioned to the highest bidder as a fund-raiser. Mark Kubiniek, who had recently purchased Joes’ Service Center, decided he wanted the AutoMobius to symbolize his new business and archive it at the Corner of Elmwood and Grant. After some spirited bidding, he became the owner.
AutoMobius is now celebrating its eighth year at Joe’s Service Center.
Since 2003 AutoMobius has plied the byways of Western New York and Southern Ontario. It’s been seen at environmental clean-ups, art festivals, the Elmwood Farmer’s Market and on the east side at the Central Terminal and Broadway Market.
AutoMobius is the unofficial “mascot” the Grant Amherst Business Association which has now become the home of several new artist studios and galleries. and a few lucky customers at Joe’s Service Center have found themselves shuttled to and from work in AutoMobius while their own cars were in for repairs.
AutoMobius is also available to appear at events, parties, openings and festivals. Call 877-9823 for details.
The Future of AutoMobius
AutoMobius will always have a home at Joe’s Service Center, but its outings have become more limited as it has aged. The doors need replacement, the rocker panels and frame need work, the plastic weld needs attention and a new coat of paint would be nice.
Owner Mark Kubiniek says the cost is in the $5,000 to $10,000 range. If you can help with the cost in return for promotional considerations – or have other ideas – please contact us.