Aston Martin's Le Mans 'art car' looks fast

Aston Martin Racing has unveiled a Le Mans 24 Hours ‘art car’ designed by artist Tobias Rehberger, which uses geometric shapes and patterns to give the illusion of movement and speed, even when standing still. The car made its first public appearance at scrutineering for the legendary endurance race, which is held in the Place de la Republique in the centre of Le Mans city.

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Rehberger is renowned for his abstract art and optical effects that distort perception and has received numerous international prizes and awards, including the Golden Lion for best artist at the 2009 Venice Biennale. Aston Martin Racing invited him to design a livery that would work with the Vantage GTE cars lines and colours in a way never attempted before.

The German artist, who will attend Saturday’s race as a guest of Aston Martin Racing, explained: “My design for the Aston Martin art car is rooted in my interest in distorted perception and related phenomena like auto-moving patterns, optical effects, camouflage and visual confusion, which I have addressed in many works before.

“In this case, the design is based on a geometric optical effect pattern. Comparable to a fast object, a steady fixation on a point of the pattern is impossible.”

The artwork was commissioned by the owner of car #97 – a long-time admirer of Rehberger’s work who was interested to see how he could manipulate the appearance of the race car based on Aston Martin’s Vantage road car.

Darren Turner – one of the three drivers of the #97 machine – was impressed with the results: “Personally, I think art cars are fantastic,” he said. “This design really pushes the boundaries of what’s been done before and challenges how we use patterns and colours in racecar liveries – I love it!”

The 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans starts on Saturday 13 June at 3pm CET. Will you be watching?

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