Photography: Air Drive - Renaud Marion
We stumbled upon a selection of rather intriguing photos of French photographer Renaud Marion. 'Air Drive' is the appropriate name for the set of photos that includes a range of classic cars floating in the air. Clearly, it took a long time to photoshop the cars to absolute perfection; all cars have lost their wheels and had their wheel arches filled up. The original designers of the cars would probably have liked their cars to look like this, sleek and to the point. Disposing of wheels, those practical but, ultimately, aesthetically (not to mention aerodynamically) cumbersome and obstructive elements that automotive design has to accomodate for. On some cars the novel shapes, smooth as they are, create an inimitable sense of litheness. What has been created are, in a sense, the automotive equivalents of Aladdin's flying carpet. Simply put, the photographer has added a sense of fantasy to a practical good. Though, it is hardly a novel fantasy, flying cars have fascinated designers and artists alike for many years.
Let's take, for example, writer F.T. Marinetti who, in his poem To My Pegasus from 1908, already fantasised about overcoming the accepted restrictions of the car by swerving off the road and into the air:
"...Release the brakes! You can’t?
Smash them then!
Let the engine’s pulse centuple!
Hurrah! No more contact with the filthy earth!
At last, I break loose and fly freely
over the intoxicating abundance
of Stars streaming in the great bed of the sky!..."
Interestingly, this series of photos appears not only to be about the car, but moreover about the juxtaposition offered by the well sought out backgrounds. Here we have architecture which looks completely out of time with the subjects in front. The sleek shape of the E-type in front of a piece of brutalist concrete reminiscent of a World War Two bunker. A Porsche 356 poses next to a building site's fence, which happens to be clad in a similar range of colours, suggesting perfected situational coincidence on the one hand and a strong contrast between finished and unfinished design on the other. We could go on, basically, we are impressed. On some cars, the trickery doesn't really work, though, a Mercedes-Benz W113 without its wheels simply turns into a rather unfortunate blob of metal (hence we are not featuring the photo).
All of Renaud Marion's work can be found here.