And the World’s Ugliest Ferrari Award Goes To: Laurence Gartel

Have you ever seen something that’s so ugly it’s cute? You may change your mind after seeing what Laurence Gartel did to a Ferrari Scuderia. Then again you may not. Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder. So, there are some of you who may cry, or even pass out, at the sight of this colorful and unique concept design.

Although you may not have heard from him before today, Gartel’s been around for a long time. In fact, he gained his reputation of breaking established methodologies before the age of the personal computer. He was one of the first to explore electronic imaging, now known as digital media, back in the seventies. This is back when they were still working on analog computers!

Gartel’s goal was to create a new visual language by implementing technology in the art-making process. He is the one that taught Andy Warhol how to use the Amiga computer when the iconic artist received the commission to create the album cover for Blondie in the 80s.

What are his credentials?

For over 40 years, Gartel has been considered the father of the digital art movement. The New York native has had his works exhibited at the Norton Museum, Princeton Art Museum, Long Beach Museum of Art, Joan Whitney Payson Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art. He also has some work featured in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History and the Bibliotheque Nationale. Moreover, he’s traveled all over the world (like India, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Australia) exhibiting his work.

As far as commercial artwork, he’s done pieces for Absolut Vodka, Gibson guitars, Walt Disney, Philip Morris at Coca-Cola. He’s also created artwork for some of today’s biggest stars like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Even the Red Hot Chili Peppers commissioned a piece from him.

The Art Car Project

These last couple of years his focus has been on a project called Art Cars. It began as a result of Gartels’ interest in supercars. The first commission for this collection was a Tesla electric Roadster. Mercedes-Benz commissioned Gartel to create a special piece for their 13th million friend on Facebook as well. In addition, he created the first State Art Car for New Hampshire. It’s located at the Capitol building in Concord.

Why this Ferrari?

The cave paintings discovered in France all those years ago show that, even in the olden days, man had the urge to express himself artistically. After stained glass was introduced as a medium in the Middle Ages, a new type of artistic process was born. Since then, artists have thought for unique surfaces to display their art and Gartel is no different. He’s has always been rebellious. Even in elementary school, he stood up to his teacher when she asked him to apologize for talking. Even then, he wasn’t scared to express himself. Still, why would anyone paint such a magnificent specimen of vehicular beauty? For Gartel the answer is, of course, why not?

Plus, if a collector has over 10 in his possession, it doesn’t matter if you wrap one with artwork. When these types of vehicles are so easily disposable, the options just open up. You start to see that, although most cars are monochromatic, they don’t have to be that way anymore. It’s possible to personalize your car and express your personal artistic vision. Every car is a canvas, an outlet for personal expression. Garte’s artistic expression is worth a lot. The Ferrari was worth $300K before he got his hands on it, now it’s worth almost a million dollars.

No one knows exactly why Gartel chose to turn a Ferrari into a moving canvas sporting every color imaginable in such a garish way. Still, one can only guess, it was supposedly commissioned by a member of the art social network. Maybe they actually wanted it to look that way.

The Bottom Line

If a master artist is one that doesn’t accept the rules of society, then Laurence Gartel is one of the best ever. He has the credentials to back it up as well. Still, pictures of this ugly… ahem… masterpiece may make true Ferrari lovers weep. There’s no artistic value in that. Or, maybe there is. Who knows, with art?


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