A huge mirror-polished metal bust of Louis Chevrolet has been unveiled in the Swiss city of La Chaux-de-Fonds.
The sculpture was commissioned for the Chevrolet brand's 100th anniversary in November 2011 to recognise its co-founder's birthplace and was formally handed over the city by Dr Thomas Sedran, president and MD of Chevrolet Europe.
He said: “Chevrolet is known as one of the most iconic American car brands around the world. The man who established it more than 100 years ago spent the first years of his life here in La Chaux-de-Fonds. We are proud to pay tribute to our Swiss roots and our links with Louis Chevrolet’s birthplace by handing over this unique work of art to the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds."
Because the bust looks like something out of a sci-fi movie to our untrained eyes, it is best to use Chevrolet's words to describe it: "The sculpture is an inverted bust of Louis Chevrolet. Created by Geneva-based artist Christian Gonzenbach and made of mirror-polished stainless steel, it is the largest of its kind in Switzerland, with a height of over five meters and a weight of 8 tons."
Gozenbach won the commission in a competition and it took a year for his artwork – made up of 71 sheets of high-grade stainless steel around a metal framework – to be cast and welded in a foundry in Taipei.
The Geneva-based artist said: "I am grateful for the confidence that Chevrolet and the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds have placed in me and my project,” Gonzenbach said. “I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to work on such a scale, and the pioneering spirit of Louis Chevrolet truly motivated me. Louis Chevrolet designed innovative cars and engines and won many races. Suddenly, the impossible seemed entirely possible. And with this project I have done precisely that."