You’ve probably heard of the infamous Yugo economy car. Its cheap construction and poor durability meant that many owners barely got a year of ownership before their Yugo disintegrated. Since the Yugo wasn’t exactly that good at being a car, in the 1990s it was the center of an art exhibit where the Yugo was repurposed as anything artists could dream up. The result was a new life for the Yugo where it sought to find its true calling as a piece of visual art.
Kevin O’Callaghan a professor at the Manhattan School of Visual Arts had an assignment for his students. Turn the Yugo into anything they could dream up, besides a car, for an upcoming gallery event. O’Callaghan was able to easily purchase 39 Yugos for less than $3,600 and provide his students with a blank canvass to let their imaginations run wild.
A total of 19 repurposed Yugos were displayed at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show at the Convention Center for a National Art Gallery event. Here you can see Yugos that have found new purpose in a host of unique occupations.
There’s a Yugo confessional built to look and feel like a Catholic Church, a Yugo toaster that pops out massive slices of perfectly toasted bread, and even a Yugo fireplace to rest after a long day of hating Yugos. With an average purchase price of around $100, these Yugos were far more affordable than a block of marble or large gallery-grade canvas.
Although the Yugo didn’t succeed as a car, it found new life as a piece of art for free thinkers to provide social commentary on our world. This higher calling is something no other car can claim and shows that even if you fail at one thing, that doesn’t mean you cannot find success somewhere else.