Creative Liveries: Lexus Brings Art LFA to 24 Hours of Spa

creative liveries lexus brings art lfa to 24 hours of spa

Art cars kind of suck. Even though BMW has managed to produce a handful of stellar examples — models enhanced by Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Alexander Calder, and Andy Warhol — plenty of the brand’s artistic liveries have been far less appealing to the layperson.

Other companies have produced art cars as well. Last year, Lexus unveiled an incredible IS sedan covered in 41,999 programmable LEDs that created a perpetually changing and utterly hypnotic visual experience. However, its most recent example left me feeling a little empty inside.

Art is subjective, I know. But, when it’s slathered all over an automobile, you want it to be expressive of the car’s personality — or at least striking in a way that becomes transformative. The LFA Lexus brought to the Total 24 Hours of Spa race this weekend does neither. Frankly, it feels one step removed from purchasing some mass produced vinyl graphics off an online retailer and sticking them wherever.

Intended to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Lexus’ F performance brand, which was previously commemorated by the limited edition Lexus RC F And GS F, the LFA was handed over to artist Pedro Henriques. The automaker appears to have a solid relationship with the creator. He’s cropped up before, getting a Lexus-branded art gallery where he covered half of a UX crossover in white paint earlier this month in Lisbon.

Henriques’ style is definitively minimalists, focusing heavily on shapes and negative space. I suppose the LFA is emblematic of his core technique. But it’s difficult not to simply write it of as lazy and boring. It is also slightly odd that the automaker decided to use an exceptionally rare vehicle that has been out of production since 2012. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to tart up a contemporary LC with paint? We know there is a high-performance F variant coming soon.

“My inspiration for this livery was the idea of fluidity present in the contemporary life, where things are in constant movement and it’s hard to freeze anything,” Henriques explained. “The lines in the drawings follow this feeling of going everywhere and never stopping; a progressive life. I wanted to reach an organic feeling by using handmade material and liquid lines in the elements spread through the car. By doing this I hope to express a feeling where the car becomes a less defined shape, in constant mutation in its movement.”

I’m not entirely sure I see the social commentary on present-day living. But maybe it’s absolutely brilliant and I’m simply not cultured enough to identify that particular aspect of the piece. The alternative is that there just isn’t a lot going on here and nothing to get all that excited about. However, those kinds of criticisms are best left to professional art connoisseurs who can endure looking at this kind of thing all day and find meaning where these is none.

Honestly, I was far more interested in seeing the Emil Frey Lexus Racing RC F GT3s running 24 Hours of Spa for the first time. It was a great race overall, loaded with tense moments and close calls. Unfortunately for Lexus, one of their cars was claimed by a fiery off and it was a Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 that ended up taking home the trophy.

[Images: Lexus]

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  • Zackman Zackman on Jul 30, 2018

    Reminds me of the "Razzle-Dazzle" and "Dazzle" paint schemes used by the U.S. and Great Britain during WW2. Never knew how effective it was for confusing German U-Boat rangefinders, though.

  • IBx1 IBx1 on Jul 30, 2018

    Eugh. At least follow ANY lines on the car and make it somewhat related.

  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
  • FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.
  • FreedMike Good article! And I salute the author for not using the classic “Lucas - prince of darkness” trope, well earned as it may be. We all know the rap on BL cars, but on the flip side, they’re apparently pretty easy to work on (at least that’s the impression I’ve picked up). On the other hand, check the panel fits on the driver’s and passenger’s doors. Clearly, BL wasn’t much concerned with things like structural integrity when it chopped the roof off a car designed as a coupe.
  • Mongo312 Had an 89SE, 92SE and an 03SE all with stick. The 03 took almost 3 months to find because there were so few produced with a manual transmission and dealers didn't want to give them up. Ended up buying one from a dealership in San Antonio and having it shipped here to St Louis.