GARAGE ITALIA CUSTOMS GOES TO LOS ANGELES
Garage Italia Customs will show the exclusive one-off Alfa Romeo 4C Hokusai and the BMW
i8 Futurism Edition inside the “Piston Head II: Artists Engage The Automobile” exhibition that
will be held at Los Angeles Venus Gallery (30th July – 10 september).
3 years have passed since the first edition of Piston Head: Artists Engage The Automobile. The
cars displayed in the exhibition, organised for the first time by Venus Over Manhattan in Miami
on December 8th 2013, are transformed into sculptures by modern and contemporary artists.
Today, 2016, the Venus art gallery in Los Angeles (601 South Anderson Street) is ready to host
the second edition, taking place next July 30th.
Lapo Elkann enthusiastically accepted the invitation to participate in the event with the creations
of the Garage Italia Customs “artists” team. Collector Adam Lindemann, owner of the Venus
Gallery, has been his friend for a long time and they share the great passion for art and cars.
Lapo Elkann adds, “I am happy that Garage Italia Customs and its creations have a role in
VENUS’ exhibition alongside world-class artists. Adam Lindemann and I share a passion for the
incredible artistry, beauty and power of the automobile. The VENUS exhibition gives Garage
Italia Customs the rare opportunity to evolve beyond its unique cars and focus on the potential
for innovation that still exists within the space.”
Garage Italia Customs will hence show the exclusive one-off Alfa Romeo 4C Hokusai and the
BMW i8 Futurism Edition, unveiled in Italy last may.
The 4C Hokusai is a celebration of the encounter between Japanese and Italian cultures. Alfa
Romeo was chosen because it is a symbol of Italian character and it is loved by the Japanese,
who have always been passionate about the Arese brand. The best-known Japanese work in the
world was air-brushed by hand on its bodywork, “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” by Katsushika
Hokusai. It is a picture that immediately recalls the greatness and strength of nature, contrasting
the frailty of mankind which is represented by the fishing boats. The wave is hand painted and
it dominates the entire rear side of the car and the surface of the roof, sinuously following the
shapes of this extraordinary “canvas”. The livery hence becomes a metaphor of the feelings the
driver experiences behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo with the technical characteristics and
high-level performances of a 4C. Finally, the choice of the materials for the upholstery of the
interiors –Kurabo denim and koi patterned cream Foglizzo leather – are a clear reference to
Japan, as well as the covering of the steering wheel and handbrake handle, inspired by the art
of wrapping the Katana hilt (Tsukamaki).
The BMW i8 Futurism Edition, is a unique model created by Garage Italia Customs to
celebrate 50 years of BMW history in Italy. It does so with a pattern inspired by the oil painting
“Street Light” by futurist Giacomo Balla. The plug-in hybrid sports car hence becomes a hymn
to evolution and technological progress, which are values that have always characterised the
BMW i philosophy. The main aim was to create a one-off with a livery which would summarise
the concept underlying i8 and the whole BMW i philosophy.
In order to convey at best the BMW i essence, the Garage Italia Customs Style Centre chose
Futurism as its inspiration. This art movement is known all over the world for its enthusiasm for
modernity hence praises the car as a symbol of technological evolution. Giacomo Balla’s work of
art “Street Light”, from 1909, thus became the starting point for the creation of a tailor-made film which was applied on all the BMW i8 bodywork using the wrapping technique. The painting represents an electric lamppost in a moon-lit night. Its light seems to almost materialize due to the sharp and fragmented pure colours in the painting.
This is how the artist celebrates technological revolution and the beginning of electric energy.
The event represented a historical step forwards for human progress which gave way to a new
reality yet to be discovered. From that moment on, nights have been illuminated by street light.
The upholstery in the interior shows iridescent reflections when hit by light and is made by
Solaro, a fabric that is used for suits.
The exhibition will also include works by César, Katherine Bernhardt, Matthew Day Jackson,
Olivier Mosset, Richard Prince, Sterling Ruby, Peter Shire, Keith Haring, Will Boone, Lawrence
Weiner and Jonas Wood.