A wonderfully surreal exhibition of art exploring the birth and death of iconic cars opened at the M.A.D Gallery in Geneva yesterday (27 November).
Swiss Fabien Oefner’s innovative work, called Hatch and Disintegrating, features two series of images that have been compiled from hundreds of shots and are not computer generated as they may appear.
In the Disintegrating series, each car has been dismantled completely, then photographed piece by piece in a specific position to obtain the illusion of an exploding car.
In the Hatch series, Oefner gives his interpretation of the birth of a car. He takes a miniature version of a Ferrari GTO, creates a gypsum shell around the car and then smashes it to create the illusion of the vehicle breaking out of its egg.
29-year-old Oefner says: “I have always been fascinated by the clean, crisp looks of 3D renderings. So I tried to use that certain type of aesthetic and combine it with the strength of real photography. These images are also about capturing time: either in stopping it as in the Hatch series or inventing it as in the Disintegrating series.”
As well at the GTO, the works feature Jaguar E-type, Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé and Ferrari 330 P4.
For Disintegrating the artist sketched on paper where the individual pieces would go, before taking apart the model cars piece by piece, from the body shell right down to the minuscule screws. Each car contained over a thousand components.
Then he placed each piece individually with the aid of fine needles and pieces of string. After meticulously working out the angle of each shot and establishing the right lighting, he photographed the component.
All the photos were then blended together in post-production to create one single image. With the wheels acting as a reference point, each part was masked in Photoshop, cut and then pasted into the final image.
“These are possibly the ‘slowest high-speed’ images ever captured,” said Oefner. “It took almost two months to create an image that looks as if it was captured in a fraction of a second. The whole disassembly in itself took more than a day for each car due to the complexity of the models. But that’s a bit of a boy thing. There’s an enjoyment in the analysis, discovering something by taking it apart, like peeling an onion.”