By Mariette Dolle via

The Rotterdam artist Olaf Mooij (1958) has achieved particular fame with his car sculptures on display in public space. Almost everyone knows his Braincar, a car whose top has been transformed into a brainpan. During the day, the car drives through a neighbourhood, city or street, and in the evening it dreams of its day through video projections on the matt white brain surface. Since the early nineties, Mooij has looked to the street as a stage for his work. Typical of his generation, including artists like Joep van Lieshout and Jeroen Doorenweerd, was that they connected their work much more with the world outside the walls of the exhibition halls. That often led to confusion: was this really visual art. In 1999, Mooij was nominated for the Rotterdam Design Prize with his DJ Mobile: a converted Ford Sierra with a professional sound system, ten speakers and a DJ booth. But to the good viewer it was always clear; Mooij his work is firmly rooted in the sculptural tradition. At the basis of sculpture lies the artist his ability to suggest life in dead matter. Rodin his famous The Kiss is actually just a piece of rock, but we cannot see (or feel) anything other than a passionate embrace. Olaf Mooij his cars are nothing more than bodywork, but he has transformed them into personalities, into living matter.