When artists such as Alexander Calder and Keith Haring have turned cars into rolling pieces of art, the results were usually as colourful as they were obvious. The Lisbon-based creative workshop Cool & Vintage is continuing the art car tradition with a 1983 Land Rover Defender 110. But instead of using the body as a canvas, Vasco Costa – who’s worked with Cool & Vintage for a long time – decided to paint the chassis. So, if you want to really admire the poppy artwork, you need to take a much closer look and even crawl beneath the Landy’s matte-grey skirt.
Ricardo Pessoa, Cool & Vintage’s founder, has his own explanation for the unusual idea of rolling art you can’t see. “It began with a life-long passion for Land Rovers, the arts, and our hometown of Lisbon,” he comments. “Unlike museum pieces, our cars are built to be driven. For us, all of life is a journey, however one chooses to define it: a road trip or an hour in a museum contemplating a single piece. Our clients understand that art is a profoundly personal thing and doesn’t need to be worn on one’s sleeve or blaring on the side of a car.” Pessoa believes that the happy owner understands the philosophy of the project and, from time to time, will even crawl under the car to admire the colourful homage to the city of Lisbon, but also the craftsmanship of the engineers. “Live the signal, lose the noise – that’s our mindset!”
In addition to the ‘undercover’ artwork, the Cool & Vintage Defender 110 also captivates with otherworldly qualities – take its V8 engine, new suspension, air-conditioning, Connolly leather seats, mohair roof, a Marshall wireless audio system, for example.