Es Kann Getan Werden, Portrait of Karl Benz
by Jenna Fournier
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Several artists represented in the LandfillArt collection have incorporated automobile history into their re-cycled hubcaps.
One of the most interesting is this Portrait of Karl Benz by Jenna Fournier in Ohio.
Karl Friedrich Benz was a German engine designer and engineer who has generally been regarded as the inventor of the first true gasoline-powered automobile. Together with his wife Bertha, he was the pioneering founder of the automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz. In 1888, Karl, Bertha, and their two teenaged sons drove the first long-distance car journey in history.
While other German engineers Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach also were working on similar types of inventions, Benz received a patent for his work first, and,then patented all the processes that made the internal combustion engine feasible for use in an automobile. In 1879, his first engine patent was granted to him, and in 1886, Benz was granted a patent for his first automobile.
The German phase in the title means, “it can be done.” Jenna Fournier chose the title as a tribute to Benz and all those who dream of doing what seems impossible.
Looking at an early photograph of Benz, you can see that the artist has playfully incorporated the three “wings” of the Mercedes symbol at the center of the hubcap, to form the flamboyant mustache and strong aquiline nose of Karl Benz.
Jenna Fournier was born in 1984 outside Los Angeles, California and grew up in a military family, landing as a teenager in Las Vegas, Nevada. She was an artist from early childhood, and began developing her talent and selling art informally off the Strip at age 18. Her paintings often reflect dreams or ideas, the planes of the natural world colliding with the modern, and her passion for music. She is also a singer-songwriter with guitar, a graphic artist, and dabbles in acting when time allows. Creative influences include Dali, Picasso, and Franz Marc. Her work has appeared in Las Vegas, Nashville, and Cleveland galleries. She currently lives in Cleveland, OH, and plays in the shoe-gaze rock band Nights.