Catching the Love Bug

Last week, I picked up my daughter from Denver International Airport. While I waited for her in the tented and skylighted terminal, I noticed a brightly colored 1990 Volkswagen Beetle. At first, I thought it had been artistically painted, but the gathering crowd took countless photos, so I took a closer look. I couldn’t believe what I saw!

Over 2,247,000 glass beads woven with colored yarn covered the entire vehicle including the dashboard and steering wheel. The Vochol was created by two families from the Huichol tribe of Western Mexico. It took 7 months and almost 10 thousand hours to complete. They are known for their traditional and sometimes intricate yarn paintings, but the use of beads is a new inclusion in this art form. Religious and cultural icons such as the deer, sun, corn and peyote can be found on this unusual “canvas.” They created this piece to share their beliefs and culture with the world.

The Vochol is a mash-up of the slang word for Volkswagen –Vocho and the Huichol.

Herbie would fall in love at first sight!

I imagined the looks Courtney and I would get if we rolled out of DIA in this slug-bug!

The Vochol will be auctioned off and proceeds will benefit artisans of Mexico.

I think the new owner will avoid mud puddles and buggy areas.

After the horrific events that took place in Aurora, Colorado last Friday, I looked over the photos I had taken the day before and thought, “The Vochol is a symbol of hope.” People from all over the world fly through Denver each day and enjoy The Vochol just as the world is coming together in prayer and mourning. This work of art shows the resiliency of a Mexican indigenous group which has survived and so will we.

The Vochol will be on display at DIA until August 31st, 2012.

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Filed under Humor, Life, Photography

119 responses to “Catching the Love Bug

  1. Sophie Nussle

    fabulous car and your post and photos does it justice – thank you!

  2. Amazing, creative, and wonderful! I hope they raise a ton of money at auction.

  3. This is just an awesome piece of art on wheels. Very cool photos.

  4. My mom will be so please to see that… She was crazy about “bug”

  5. Such beautiful and vibrant colours soaked in history… wonderful snaps!

  6. A great sight. Thanks for sharing. :)

  7. we saw this at DIA as well….there is one very similar in a town called Mazara del Vallo in Sicily

  8. This is the bug I would love if I loved a bug. And I would take it all the way to the furthest corner of terra firma I could find, after which I would sell it to the nearest bidder for whatever they had on them. Just so’s they could pay it forward.

  9. Pingback: The End is Near (and we deserve it). . . . ‘Balloon Boy’ Trading Cards « Author Piper Bayard

  10. I love the Aztec Bug!!! I wonder if the two families happen to share in ceremonial peyote rituals before joining in their quilting party?

  11. It looks great and difficult to finish!! :o I’d probably give up on it on my first 30 beads. lol

  12. Absolutely stunning. I’m a huge art fan, and I would love to see this piece.

  13. Nice post, Susie. That must have been something to see.

  14. Reblogged this on Not Just Sassy on the Inside and commented:
    Wow. Totally amazing what humans can do!

  15. thanks for being vochol about this! Let’s all raise our voices for peace…

  16. You can’t drive that car. You’d leave a trail of beads behind you! :) Hideous work!!! Wow! I wouldn’t have the patience. Very cool picture post. How do you suppose the clean it? With a giant duster? ;)

    • A vacuum cleaner! Hahaha!
      The doors open and it is functional! I would love to see a video of them working on it. That would make a great documentary. I don’t know how 8 people worked side-by-side on the VW…
      Thanks Debra!

  17. lynnkelleyauthor

    Wow, Susie, that VW is amazing! Beads! Who woulda thunk? I wonder how they keep them from falling off, how they preserve them. No way to wash the car? Do I sound OCD? LOL!

    Love this photo essay and this message of hope!

  18. I am in love with this car. Thank you for sharing these gorgeous pictures and the background! I’d be curious to hear what it winds up auctioning for.

    I hope you’re enjoying your daughter’s company (forgive me for coming in late to the party so I don’t know all the fam details yet…I’m gonna assume she’s visiting from…college? Is it possible you could have a daughter in college? Because that doesn’t even seem possible)!

    • Hahaha! I have 22-year-old son and 20-year-old daughter. She is here right now which I love. We have been enjoying a girl’s night in on Tuesdays when she nannies the next day. My son lives in state too and is finishing up college this year…fingers and toes crossed.
      I will let you know what they get at auction!
      Thanks Jules!

  19. Wow – thanks for posting. This is enough for me to change flight plans to go through Denver. I’ve always been a VW bug lover and this may be the best of all. The love of art shines through, the detail amazing. I wonder how many hours the artist spent ‘ploting’ this so it would all come together in the end with the staement they were looking for?

    • Thanks Sheri!
      I couldn’t find anything about the preparation or prelim drawings although there must be some. Just the fact that they were able to work out the geometry of the curves not seen on a flat sheet of paper is beyond my imagination!
      I think you would love it!!

  20. Susie, what I liked most about this post was the way you turned that unusual piece of art into something much bigger. Art, beauty, hope…things we need now more than ever.

  21. Fantastic! I love how I can stretch my screen on my iPad to really appreciate the details! So cool that you caught it and we’re able to take some pics! Art is the antidote. I’m sure of it.

  22. EllieAnn

    I’ve never seen anything like it. What a phenomenal piece of art!

  23. Gorgeous and Hippie-ish, would love to go for a ride in there!

  24. Very cool! I love it when people let their creativity take off with cars, possibly because our society has such a thriving car culture. Earlier this month the New York Times ran a story and a slide show about a guy that created a full size sculpture of a 1969 Ford Mustang out of paper:

  25. Great Post – love the photos! I am excited to go to Yellowstone next month:) Have a Great Week – Happy Monday!

    • I would love to go to Yellowstone! Instead we will battle mosquitoes the size of small airplanes, heat in the triple digits, but will see many loved relatives! (Wisconsin)
      Thanks Renee!

  26. Until now I thought Janis Joplin’s Porsche was the King of Kolor and I must admit that my opinion has changed. This VW is amazing. Thank you for stopping and taking photos to share with everyone.

  27. How amazing is that?! I can’t imagine having that sort of talent – or patience. Beautiful gesture, Susie:)

  28. Now there are some folks with a LOT of time on their hands. Cool bit of art though.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Patrcia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  29. This is just breathtaking. I am sitting here in awe at the God given talents of these people and that’s what we need to focus on when we are inundated with negative news, not the flaws. Thanks for sharing this clear, beautiful symbol of Hope!

  30. Thank you so much for posting this most incredible symbol of hope! I loved the Love Bug as a kid and this sent me on a nostalgic trip of sorts.

    Just amazing–this.

  31. That’s truly amazing, Susie! Thanks for sharing. :-)

  32. Great pic. What really catches my interest in your post is hope! You compared a car decorated with love to show that good is still possible even after a tragedy! That is truly amazing! Well done

    • I didn’t want to brush over it especially after I wrote such a sad post on Friday. I felt I needed to write something transitional especially since I live in Colorado. This is a 300 sunny days in Colorado blog so I needed to pick the mood back up again.
      Thank you so very much!

  33. It is a beautiful symbol of it. That is awesome!

  34. Gorgeous ride. Incredible the time they put into it!

  35. Makes me wanna be a car person! LOL Totally sweet, Susie. And fabulous use of your own pics! ;)

    • Thanks August! I loved my first car. It was a red Datsun 4 door. I would tell guys it was my little red Corvette. You should have seen their eyes! I would have to correct them after they would get all excited. Their shoulders would sink and they’d said, “Ohhhh….” Hahaha!

  36. What an adorable car. Thank you for reminding us that even in the midst of tragedy, there is always hope.

    • And we are reminded of hope every day, if we take the time to look around our beautiful world.
      I wonder if VW will produce a car with a similar paint job? I would hate to scratch it!

  37. Out freaking standing. the bug is a masterpiece. You’ve got a good eye and taste beyond belief to post the pics and enlighten those of us who sometimes have a small fog bank around our heads,

    • Thanks so much Tom! That is so nice.
      It is a masterpiece! I didn’t know anything about the Huichol so their idea to share their culture with the world is a success! Don’t worry, I have a small fog bank around my head once in a while too! :)

  38. Wow! Love this. Amazing talent.

    Thanks for sharing, Susie.

  39. This is so cool! Thanks for sharing, Susie.

  40. Can you imagine if you parked it somewhere it got run into? A fender-bender would reduce you to hysterics.

    • Hahahaha! I hadn’t thought of that! I would have to build a giant glass bulletproof box that could get dropped over it like a special edition replica. Guess that wouldn’t work. Then I would need some kind of cloaking device and park it illegally where it wouldn’t get run into…. hmmm….I will have to think about this….

  41. Coleen Patrick

    Great message Susie–and as always love the photos! :)

  42. Nice. I missed it when I was at DIA in June/July. Time makes everything better , I think. Oh wait I spoke too soon, our bodies fight time or maybe it’s just our minds. I must catch the news about the tragedy. I saw pics on the net of the victims and we all were very sad. Thanks for all your posts… Definitely look forward to them with the upbeat charm you show.

    • Awww! I needed to transition back to my 300 sunny days in Colorado. The Love Bug was just the thing!
      I am keeping the news off. I know what you mean about time. It does heal us.
      Thanks so much for that sweet sweet comment Lilie!

  43. As one of my favorite bloggers, you’re invited to take part in my new contest:
    May the odds be ever in your favor!

  44. I wonder if that’s the same one that (was?) here in DC at the National Museum of the American Indian. I wanted to go see it but didn’t make it. Your pictures of it made my day.

  45. That’s some amazing work, thanks for sharing it!

  46. I hope you will enter the auction.. I couldn’t imagine a better and more appropriate vehicle for Susie’s “Wild Ride” :D

  47. Wow, Susie ~ I’m impressed. Intricate designs with saturated color and wonderful symmetry. Thanks for sharing :-)

  48. Wonderful post and images, it brought back many memories! Back in 1973 I had a candy apple red, 1971 Beetle, always loved the the gas savings. Thanks for sharing!

  49. As a self-professed (and not-at-all-interested in an intervention) beadaholic I swooned…Incredible. A testament to artistry, devotion, resiliency and talent.

    Makess my work ( and ( seem pretty lame…

  50. pretty amazing – thank you for sharing. It is definitely more uplifting! I drove a Beetle in high school and in college before getting my brand new car…. at the time I did not appreciate it, but I remember driving it in the summer with NO AC – just the side window tilted inward to create a funnel effect… it got great gas mileage, though I yearned for a ‘cooler’ car in more ways than one… I’ve given up on being cool, it’s just too hard to accomplish! I’ll be just as well satisfied making the days count….

    • You have your priorities straight Clay! My husband had VW’s back in the day and when they conked out, he would buy another for $50 and drop in a new engine! I knew his family while growing up and they had a super cool VW convertible!

  51. Amazing piece of work on a beloved auto. I am on vacation for 8 weeks so if I miss anything I apologize.

  52. this was awesome… what great craftsmanship and artistic vision. Thank you for posting!

  53. The symmetry, the colors! Beautiful work indeed. Great catch, Susie!

    • I almost didn’t check it out and I am glad I did. Courtney and I actually missed each other. She walked out to the car and then called me! Good thing!
      Have a great day John!

  54. So true, and so awesome! Hope, lots of hope, Susan, because hope is everything. I lost hope once, and it near ripped me into a million shards.

    To all of you there and who deal with the unimaginable. *hugs*

    And thank you for sharing this.

  55. i wish I too had some talent like that…i know one can’t have everything but that is superb…what a gift to be so hugely talented
    Susie what a lovely post
    beauty that car
    Hugs n love in:)

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