Beauty may very well be in the eye of the beholder, but Volkswagen believes you don’t actually need eyesight to appreciate the beauty of its sleek Arteon flagship model. To prove it, the folks from Wolfsburg got in touch with blind American photographer Pete Eckert and asked him to shoot the new fastback and demonstrate beauty can also be felt.
Eckert’s very first automobile project has turned out to be quite remarkable, especially if you factor in he used an analog camera in total darkness. Using long exposure times and double exposures, the artist created so-called “light paintings” after feeling and tapping the Arteon’s body to get a sense of the subject.
Much like the Passat CC / CC before it, the Arteon is arguably one of the most beautiful cars in VW’s lineup. But while the exterior does a very good job at hiding its Passat roots, it’s the interior that some would have hoped to be more special compared to the conventional midsize sedan. On the flip side, the longer wheelbase does translate into more legroom for rear passengers and the hatchback opening of the trunk makes it more practical than the regular Passat. Despite its tapering roofline, headroom in the back is more than adequate.
Besides the exterior styling and the roomier interior, another ace up the Arteon’s sleeve could be a six-cylinder engine the European Passat doesn’t have and is unlikely to receive. The larger unit is being developed and a prototype has already been built. Moreover, VW is also analyzing the prospects of doing an Arteon Shooting Brake, which would turn out to be sexier than the somewhat plain Passat Variant.
In the United States, the new Arteon will go on sale at some point in 2018 and will command a significant premium over the U.S.-spec Passat. There are going to be some massive differences between the two seeing as how the American Passat is still stuck on the old underpinnings…
Gallery: Volkswagen Arteon photo shoot by Pete Eckert
"You don't need eyes to see beauty" – Blind photographer Pete Eckert presents new Volkswagen Arteon with unique images
- Award-winning photographer's first automobile project
- International campaign features 10 extraordinary Arteon motifs and a making-of clip
Volkswagen is today expanding the international marketing campaign for its new Arteon. The blind American photographer Pete Eckert has placed the new Volkswagen model on the stage in a very special way. With immediate effect, 10 extraordinary images and a making-of clip can be viewed on the Arteon microsite at arteon.volkswagen.com.
"The new Arteon represents expressive, avant-garde design. Pete Eckert has presented this design in a unique way. The images he has created are genuine works of art and have a very special atmosphere that only he can create. We have found Pete to be an impressive personality and would like to thank him for the fantastic cooperation," says Xavier Chardon, Head of Marketing of the Volkswagen brand.
With the new Arteon, Pete Eckert has realized his first automobile project. In preparation for the photos, he obtained detailed information on the special features and characteristics of the new model. On the set, he gained sensory impressions of the new Arteon by feeling and tapping in order to develop as precise an impression of the new car as possible. With the aid of an assistant, he then produced his photographs, known as "light paintings". Eckert took the photographs with an analog camera in complete darkness, using long exposure times and double exposures. This way, he produced dynamic effects by moving different light sources.
The new campaign elements focus on the two-and-a-half-minute video clip. This shows the production of the images and includes interview sequences with Pete Eckert. Teaser clips and motifs are being used on the social media to attract attention to the campaign. The creative agency responsible is Grabarz & Partner.
Pete Eckert lives in Sacramento, California. He lost his sight when he was an adult as a result of an illness. His works have been widely published and honored by a number of awards. One of his motifs appeared on a United Nations postage stamp. He says about himself: "I am a visual person. I just can't see."