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Wheel of Fortune
7 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 11 ft
rubber microdyne, polystyrene, aluminum, mirra-chrome autobody enamel

Made in collaboration with Hank Willis Thomas and Loren Madsen.

Wheel of Fortune is a three dimensional timeline depicting the expansion in production of synthetic rubber over the past 100 years. The form and content of the sculpture is based on the volume of synthetic rubber produced each year since its invention in 1909. The sculpture is made of tire rubber (60% synthetic rubber). Events such as WWII, the Oil Embargo of the 70’s, and the Asian Financial Crisis (1998) can clearly be seen as a bump or dip in the overall upward trajectory of rubber production.



With tire treads as markers of time, the Wheel provides the viewer a rare chance to experience the passing of time (or history) in a physical and visual representation. The sculpture bears witness to the ways in which a specific industry has been affected by global events.

Wheel of Fortune was commissioned by LANXESS Corporation to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the invention of synthetic rubber.

©2013 Ryan Alexiev. All rights reserved.