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Venet-designed Bugatti Grand Sport at Miami's Art Basel

Mon, 03 Dec 2012

We like to poke a little fun here at Autoweek when a “new” Bugatti Veyron model comes out. First we took the top off, then we added power, then we took the top off that, then we added a dragon, now we're painting it light blue, and so on. This one, though, is actually pretty cool.

French artist Bernar Venet was invited by Bugatti to create a work of art—from a Veyron—that combines Venet's vision with the Bugatti Grand Sport. What he came up with was a surprisingly tasteful interpretation of fast. The rolling sculpture will be on display at the Rubell Family Collection in Miami during Art Basel, which calls itself “the most prestigious art show in the Americas.”

Venet's Bugatti has a base coat of black paint. The front is painted in orange that blends the two colors into mathematical iconography.

“It was, so to speak, a logical conclusion and a new challenge in terms of the specific form of collaboration and implementation,” said Venet. “To me, the result is also exceptional when measured by artistic standards and bestows the object with a mythical character.”

Mythical is the right word. Anything with a W16 engine, four turbochargers, and a top speed near 280 mph must be powered not by horses but by Pegasuses, Pegasii? Pegasum.

“Bernar Venet doubly honors our brand by making reference to the technical formula of our engineers without fully revealing their secrets, said Achim Anscheidt, Bugatti chief designer. “It is an homage to the principle of dialogue and to the human capacity to question and redefine established boundaries. Venet is always focused on the essentials, and so is Bugatti.”

The Rubell family has a history with Venet, which is why the Veyron will be displayed in the family collection.

“When we met Bernar, he was already an accomplished artist and a very intuitive collector of emerging art. We benefitted from his insight into the artist's perspective, and his artwork has been part of our collection since the 1970s,” said Mera Rubell. “Bernar's life-long, signature obsession with mathematical formulas has found a ready-made canvas on the Bugatti, which is both original and dynamic. We're proud to present the Venet/Bugatti collaboration at our Foundation's museum.”

By Jake Lingeman