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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119 thoughts on “Catching the Love Bug

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  1. 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


    1. 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!


  2. 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.


  3. 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!


    1. Thanks so much for reading and getting the message so clearly! There are 25,000 Huichol people left in the tribe and they have preserved their culture and religion all these years!


  4. 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.


    1. 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!


  5. 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:


  6. 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.


  7. 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?


    1. 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!!


  8. 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)!


    1. 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!


  9. 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!


  10. 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? 😉


    1. 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!


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