"'Car Kebob" Artist Dies

Creator of the Spindle died of cancer

By Matt Bartosik
|  Tuesday, May 11, 2010  |  Updated 6:30 AM CDT
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Chicago's Reality Connection

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Dustin Schuler has gone off to the great spindle in the sky.

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In 2008, thousands of Chicagoans mourned the loss of "the Spindle," a 50-foot-tall sculpture of skewered automobiles in Berwyn.

Today, our hearts sigh once again. The Spindle's creator, Dustin Shuler, died of cancer Tuesday in his southern California home, reports the Sun-Times. He was 61 years old.

Shuler's Spindle was installed in 1989 and featured in the 1992 film, Wayne's World. It also appeared in postcards, maps, and tourism brochures.

As famous as the "eight car pile-up" was though, not everyone was fond of its quirkiness. Several Berwyn residents considered it an eyesore, and in 1990, the majority of them had voted for it to be removed.

After receiving no bids on its eBay auction, the sculpture was disassembled on May 2, 2008 to make way for the shopping center's new Walgreens pharmacy.

The Spindle wasn't Shuler's only big artwork, though. In 1982, he made "Pinned Butterfly," a Cessna 150 aircraft that was pinned to a Los Angeles four-story brick building with a large steel nail. And in Sarasota, Florida, in 2008, he created "Dance," featuring 12 cars in a circle, their front ends pointed skyward.

Still, it was the Spindle that received worldwide attention, and it will likely be the work that Shuler is most remembered for.

Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.

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