above: a composite of Banksy’s Flower Thrower with the license plate version by Michael Kalish
There are actually several artists out who have found creative ways to “up-cycle” license plates from automobiles. One of the most respected and well-known, is artist Michael Kalish.
His impressive repertoire of work contains imagery of American culture – from flags and automobiles to portraits of entertainers such as Johnny Cash. But in the pieces I am sharing with you in this post, he’s taken modern, pop and urban art by well-known artists and recreated them in his style using metal license plates.
At first glance, these works of artists Banksy, Warhol, Tom Wesselman, Murakami, Keith Haring, Shephard Fairey and Roy Lichtenstein look like the original pieces until you get closer and see that they’ve been crafted from metal license plates.
I’m going to share with you both Michael Kalish’s creations along with the original pieces that inspired him.
Roy Lichtenstein’s Girl With hair Ribbon by Michael Kalish:
The original by Roy Lichtenstein:
Andy Warhol’s Marilyn by Michael Kalish:
The original by Andy Warhol:
Tom Wesselman’s Beautiful Bedroom Kate by Michael Kalish:
The original by Tom Wesselman:
Banksy’s Flower Thrower by Michael Kalish:
The original by Banksy:
Shepard Fairey’s Obama by Michael Kalish:
The original Obama art by Shepard Fairey:
Takashi Murakami’s Louis Vuitton Pattern by Michael Kalish:
The original by Takashi Murakami:
Dog, Baby and other Keith Haring icons by Michael Kalish:
The original by Keith Haring:
About the Artist:
Michael Kalish is an internationally acclaimed artist and sculptor who has a natural ability to transform ordinary objects into extraordinary works of art.
The subjects of Kalish’s work reference a broad sampling of American culture, from the all-American pastime of baseball and the morning cup of Java to portraits of popular, political and cultural icons.
His signature medium, the license plate, embraces his ideal of Americana with his own contemporary sophistication, curiosity and distinctive style. Many of his unique sculptures have found permanent parking spots in a number of Hollywood homes.
Over the past 15 years, Kalish has garnered national and international press exposure as well as solo shows and representation in galleries around the world. He has been the feature of stories in publications from the NY Times and People to Art in America and USA Today, as well as TV appearances on CBS Sunday Morning and CNN’s “To the Top.” realize marks an entrance into a new medium of work for Kalish, publicly installed monuments.