The Drill Team

These dresses demonstrate their transition, from the functional to the fabulous, from the Industrial to sculptural. By deliberately leaving the iconography of the oil can intact, this dress is a consumer icon, it recognizably retains its original identity although it now exists in a new form.  McCullough refers to her series as, “The Drill Team”, a phrase which at a stroke conjures up a number of diametrically opposed images.  The name has overtly masculine overtones; heroic, idealized men and machinery exuding power, danger and the exploration of unknown territories in hidden depths. But it also references the Drill Team of the cheerleaders who decorate the peripheries of that great, inherently masculine institution; the American Football game with displays of colorful choreographed athleticism, noted solely for their twirling of pom-poms and blatant femininity.

Given that the style of these dresses references that of the cheerleader, by implication this references the sponsoring of televised sporting events by large business corporations, including the oil companies. The implication is that everything is destined for the mass market; everything carries a subliminal message, nothing is pure, everything is manufactured and offered for consumption. Is this a metaphor for life in modern, consumerist America? McCullough’s dresses subvert this macho symbol beautifully, by converting the oil can into a dress; she at once emasculates it and creates the most feminine of objects. The value to be found in Donna McCullough’s work is in her development of a genre that although technically less than a century old, can trace its origins through the history of art. 

Excerpt from Donna and The Drill Team – An Interview with Donna McCullough by Michael Stewart

Team Quaker State
Team Quaker State

Vintage Oil Cans 51" x 18" x 16" Available

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Team Gasoline
Team Gasoline

Vintage Oil Cans 52" x 15" x 13" Available

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Team Capitol
Team Capitol

Vintage Oil Cans 52" x 18" x 15" Available

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Team Premium Agway
Team Premium Agway

Vintage Oil Cans 51" x 19" x 14" Available

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Team Quaker Maid
Team Quaker Maid

Vintage Oil Cans 51" x 19" x 14" Available

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Team Gulf
Team Gulf

Vintage Oil Cans 51" x 20" x 15" Private Collection

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Team Saphire
Team Saphire

Vintage Oil Cans 50" x 19" x 16" Available

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Team Sunoco Mercury
Team Sunoco Mercury

Vintage Oil Cans 55" x 17" x 15" Available

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Team ESSO
Team ESSO

Vintage Oil Cans 50" x 16" x 13" Private Collection

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Team Gulf XHD
Team Gulf XHD

Vintage Oil Cans 52" x 17" x 15" Available

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Mobiloil Outboard
Mobiloil Outboard

Vintage Oil Cans 26" x 12" x 8" Private Collection

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Team Gulf (blue)
Team Gulf (blue)

Vintage Oil Cans 47" x 14" x 12" Available

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Team Pure Oil
Team Pure Oil

Vintage Oil Cans 51" x 15" x 20" Private Collection

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Team Texaco
Team Texaco

Vintage Oil Cans Private Collection

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