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Porsche Art Car: The different 911

Art Cars and Le Mans belong together: This year Porsche, Project 1 Racing and Richard Phillips continue to write history with a hyper-real 911 RSR.

Text: Marko Knab Photo: Project 1 Racing 05.06.2019 3 min

We had long suspected that a Porsche was modern art. But now, finally, there is the empirical evidence, presented by the American artist Richard Phillips. Almost ten years ago he said in an interview that art could literally be anything. And since his most recent creation it has become clear: The 911 from Zuffenhausen is also fine art. Together with Project 1 Racing and Porsche Digital, which took care of the wrapping through its new product Second Skin, an Art Car was created that will contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans next week. Phillips, a representative of hyperrealism, even spent an entire day at the museum in Zuffenhausen for inspiration. The self-confessed Porsche fan and owner explains his design on the 911 RSR to »Crazy about Porsche«.

"My concept for the Project 1 Art Car began with choosing three of my most well known paintings to integrate on to the unique body work of the 2019 Porsche 911 RSR. On the driver’s side of the car is imagery from my painting ’Scout’ 1999, on the right hand side is ‘Spectrum’ 1998, and on the rear is an inverted detail of my painting ‘Riot’ 1998. Each of these paintings were originally conceived as a part of gallery exhibitions in Cologne, London, and New York respectively."

"Years later after inclusion in museum exhibitions both in the US and Europe, two of the paintings, Scout and Spectrum, broke into popular culture by their prominent display on the sets of the hit American TV show ‘Gossip Girl’. It was at that moment when the paintings transformed from being artistic comments on media and fashion to actually being icons of those same genres."

"When I was asked by Joerg Bergmeister, the factory driver from Porsche for Project 1, to create a proposal for an Art Car I soon thought of harnessing the menacing beauty of Scout, the movement and color of Spectrum, and the dark graphic emptiness of the inverted Riot eyes. With the tough image of Scout’s erotic anonymity behind her sunglasses and her hair thrown over the hood I wanted to acknowledge the anthropomorphic beauty of the Porsche RSR by giving it a recognized identity."

"On the opposite side of the car the close up of the painting Spectrum with its rainbow colors and repeating eyes I intend to foreground the feeling of beauty, power, color, and speed. Following the colors to the rear of the car the image fades to black and the glowing eyes of Riot appear fiercely. The graphic intensity of the glow in the dark eyes address a crucial part of the 24 hours of Le Mans and that is the race through the night. Headlights and taillights have always evoked an ocular sensation as they become the eyes of the car in darkness."

"With the Project 1 Art Car this feeling will be made real as drivers will be forced to face down the unblinking stare while following the Project 1 car down the Mulsanne straight or while scything through the Porsche curves. In a social media age of omnipresent photographic awareness of self, we create and project an ever evolving image of ourselves, and how we move through the world. The Project 1 Art Car likewise activates a new image of art- identity through painting and portraiture, linking it to the identity of art and power in motorsport within the biggest 24 Hour exhibition in the world: Le Mans."