When Harrod Blank has a dream, he goes for it – and in a big way. His Camera Van was the result of a dream that he decided to chase in the fall of 1993. With the help of some friends, Blank spent two years covering his van with cameras. He now roams the world with the Camera Van, snapping pictures of people who are unaware that there are functional cameras hidden among those decorative ones.
The Camera Van features carefully laid-out sections. The front grill is dedicated to instant cameras, boasting one of every Polaroid camera ever made. The passenger side is covered in antique collectible cameras and four 32″ color monitors broadcasting whatever Blank wants them to. At one time, the two back windows were occupied by two creepy Duratrans murals of children. They were later replaced with two working flat-screen monitors which can display the best photos taken by the Camera Van. The driver’s side boasts a lovely portrait of a Kodak Instamatic made entirely of Kodak Instamatics. Finally, the roof is adorned with the word “SMILE” made, again, entirely of Kodak Instamatics.
The hidden (operational) cameras on the van catch both video and still shots of people reacting to the unique art car. Blank has written several books about his art car and his experiences; he’s even made a few movies about the subject which he sells on his website. Ever the showman, Blank has toured all around the world with his unique van and still makes frequent public appearances with it.