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HomeCar CulturePorsche’s 75-Year Color Legacy Transformed Into Optical Art

Porsche’s 75-Year Color Legacy Transformed Into Optical Art

Created by internationally acclaimed artist Heidi Mraz

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In celebration of Porsche’s 75th anniversary, American artist and documentarian Heidi Mraz recently debuted a new series of optical art crafted from a palette of Porsche-centric exterior paint colors titled, ‘All the Colors of the Rennbow,’ during ‘The Driven Women’ and Porsche Cayenne Reveal event at Porsche Tysons Corner, Virginia, in late October. This new series features a dazzling array of hues sampled from the brand’s archive of more than six hundred colors, spanning its 75-year history and providing a dynamic retrospect within a mosaic masterpiece. High resolution photos can be found at: https://rb.gy/0a5tg

Mraz has always perceived the world of automobiles as an intricate mosaic of colors, and her fascination with color has led her into the realm of visual science, where she explores how we perceive color, contrast, and shapes. “Porsche’s spectrum of hues is vast, I wanted to honor their color legacy in an unforgettable way by incorporating color theory and the science of seeing into my art,” Mraz explains.

Mraz’s vivid, ‘Rennbow Crest No. 1’ featuring Guards Red, both honors and documents 75 years of Porsche color legacy through her art

 ‘All the Colors of the Rennbow’ is a dynamic experiential series that depicts Porsche sports cars and their iconic crest at the threshold of recognition by using the brand’s own color palette. When viewed at close range the art appears solely as a colorful geometric abstraction, but from a distance, or viewed through a convex mirror or cell phone an optical transformation occurs and the colors shift as a hidden image is revealed. This revelation happens when the viewer optically blends the colors of a reduced image in their mind’s eye.

Daniel Rodriguez, Managing Director, Porsche Tysons Corner with Artist Heidi Mraz during her art unveiling at ‘The Driven Women’ event in Virginia. Photo by Alec Cosing

For each multi-layered 30”x40” to 48”x60” sized canvas, Mraz distills her palette down to 400-600 colorful laser-cut geometric shapes and 911 silhouettes for added detail. Creating these optical illusions is no easy task, explains Mraz. “It takes hours of experimenting with hundreds of colors to give viewers that ‘ah-ha’ moment of discovery.”

To create this phenomenon Mraz must meticulously place large blocks of individually colored shapes, in just the right combination, to make adjacent colors blend from a distance into new unseen colors and shapes in the viewer’s own mind. This perceived blending of colors, called optical mixing, makes Mraz’s dynamic art an incredibly personal and transformative experience.

“When I first saw Heidi’s art I was blown away,” says Daniel Rodriguez, Managing Director of Porsche Tysons Corner. “It’s incredible how hundreds of colors can shift from an abstraction into a three-colored Porsche logo. We were thrilled to host her unveiling at our event and our guests were equally as amazed.”

According to Rodriguez, a line to view the art grew as astonished guests pulled other people over to take a look. Mraz added, “It was fun pointing out colors like Miami Blue, Chartreuse, Rubystar, and Lizard Green while guests had no idea they were actually looking at a Porsche crest until I handed them a convex mirror.”

‘Abstracted Porsche 917’ optically transforms from a geometric abstraction into a race car in the mirror balls’ reduced reflection of the art

If distance is the key to unlocking the image, it is precisely placed color that drives the change. For the past decade Mraz has collected and catalogued thousands of color swatches by photographing color on cars at major international car events and visiting Porsche dealerships. In addition, she has collected sample paint chips, and colorful pages cut and scanned from auction catalogs, books, magazines, and the Porsche Club of America’s, Rennbow.org site.

Why so many color swatches? Mraz explains, “Consider that a single exterior paint color can reveal a multitude of shades and tints, depending on the light, the environment, the paint’s reflective properties, and the car’s shape. And I can never have too many color choices.”

The result of Mraz’s efforts to document the Rennbow spectrum is both a dynamic retrospect and a mosaic masterpiece that transforms years of Porsche color history into a modern work of art that pays homage to the past while looking to the future.

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