Shalemar Sharbatly sees cars as canvas for spreading joy
“Moving Art” is the concept being explored by Egyptian artist Shalemar Sharbatly, whose exhibitions — yes, multiple — at the Louvre have included a hand-painted Porsche, reportedly the first time such an artistic automobile was displayed at the famed French art museum.
The latest installment in the series has just been unveiled, the Color Art Project by Foglizzo, the Italian company proud to claim that it can create any shade of any color in leather to meet its clients’ requests.
The object of Sharbatly’s artistry is a Pagani Zonda S, just like the one that set the lap record for a homologated car at the Nurburgring, offered up by Horacio Pagani himself.
To create an artist’s canvas, the car was covered with a white film by D-Factory Italia, which has wrapped everything from aircraft to yachts to the walls of homes. Sharbatly then spent four days hand painting the cars.
Art cars are not new (Herve Poulain launched the BMW Art Car project in the 1970s and the Petersen Automotive Museum displayed several art cars by Keith Haring in 2016), but according to the Foglizzo news release, Sharbatly’s focus is “to move art beyond the elitist walls of the gallery. Shalemar Sharbatly is focusing on turning everyday objects — like cars — into conceptual pieces that have been seen by millions and is a visceral idea of using art as a vehicle.”
“When I walk through the streets and find myself surrounded by so much aluminum I feel annoyed,” the artist told Majalla,com. “I began feeling like this in 2006. Cars are all either red, white, green or black and you are forced to buy cars in only these colors.
“I thought to myself, how can I paint my own car? There are two problems which arise when you paint a car. The first is figuring out what paint to use because you can’t use the same type of paint that you would when painting on a canvas. The paint you use has to be in accordance with international standards and be tough and resilient.”
She went on to explain that in 2013 she asked her brother, a car dealer, for a Porsche to use as a canvas.
“It took me about 10 to 15 days to complete,” Sharbatly said, adding that her 911 Carrera became “the first ever art car to be displayed in the history the French Motor Show and it became one of the most viewed cars in the world.
“Cars are big blank canvases. Why not exploit this space by transforming it into visual culture and use it to spread joy?”