Classic cars in slices
Anyone afflicted with a passion for cars has more than likely spent a disproportionately high percentage of their lives staring at the lines, curves and surfaces of some beautiful machines. Spend enough time and you begin to know the shapes intimately. I bet many, if not all, of you could very easily identify an E-type, a 330 P4, a 911 or a 300SL out of a string of blacked-out side profile sportscar silhouettes, such is your familiarity with their forms.
French artist Antoine Dufilho is one of us. He’s just as passionate about history’s automotive icons as we are, and has made it his business to recreate them as remarkable works of art. Remarkable because his layering technique creates an effect that is multi-dimensional. While the exterior shape is easily visualised, the negative space between the slices – thanks to the magic of perspective – appears constantly variable. It’s an effect that is magnified as you shift your viewpoint. That ‘movement’, a function so intrinsically linked to the automobile itself, adds layers of fascination and visual interest to these already beautifully crafted pieces.
Above: Jaguar’s iconic E-type in slices. Still so desirable, even without its trademark outer panels. Image © A. Dufilho
Much like his minimal welds and fixings sculptures which involve clever interlocking of precision metal parts, Antoine’s story encompasses the interweaving of several life experiences. As a child he developed an artistic bent from his actor, painter, sculptor great-uncle Jacques who also happened to own a few Bugattis along the way. You can’t help but fall in love with cars when there’s a Type 37 in the family garage! Later on, biomechanical and architectural studies were no doubt responsible for the skeletal elements that are so fundamental to Antoine’s art.
Above: Antoine’s full repertoire now stands at 30 different pieces and includes an E-type Jaguar, several Porsches, Ferraris and Bugattis plus this exquisite Ford GT40, all emerging from his shipping container home studio near Lille. Image © A. Dufilho
It’s artwork that is easy to admire. Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic owner, Peter Mullin has Antoine’s Bugatti Atlantic sculpture, while former FIA President Jean Todt is also a fan – he already has three of Antoine’s sculptures and has also commissioned something large and bespoke for his garden.
Above: Peter Mullin’s real Type 57SC Atlantic alongside the Dufilho version at the Petersen Automotive Museum.
Above: Jean Todt discusses future garden installations with Antoine Dufilho.
Above: Antoine Dufilho with one of his sculptures.
By Wayne Batty