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Tattoo artist Claudia De Sabe takes inspiration from Japanese art to create a bespoke Lexus UX. In a celebration of fine craftsmanship and traditional Japanese artistry, Lexus has created the world’s first tattooed car
Art cars aren't a new concept, and BMW's art cars are arguably the most iconic of them all. But Lexus has gone one step further, and created the world's first tattooed car with the help of the London tattoo artist Claudia De Sabe and her Japanese-born husband Yutaro. The car has been given a makeover using a drilling tool to fill paint in to the bodywork, almost like a tattoo artist would tattoo a person. Claudia’s inspiration for the design came from the artwork she had seen in Japan.
To create a tattoo on the human body it can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, so this work also must have taken a few weeks, right? Well, it took the couple more than six months. Tattoo artists use a precise needle for making tattoos on the human body, but to translate a tattoo on a car, Claudia had to use a Dremel tool to drill away the surface paint and expose the metal underneath and then apply five litres of high-quality car paint by hand to make the work more exquisite. Furthermore, for giving a finishing touch she used a gold leaf to give highlights and a 3D effect to the car. The entire car was given a laquer finish over that to ensure the paint remains intact. As for the artwork itself, it is of 'koi', a type of carp that the japanese let lose in ponds and small water bodies. They are a symbol of luck, prosperity and good fortune.
Claudia found the Lexus UX to be the perfect fit for this the project because she was of the opinion that “‘the best thing about tattooing the Lexus UX, and the reason why this car was ideal for the project, is its streamlined shape. Everything from the lines on the side of the body to the shape of the windows, everything is just so dynamic and beautiful. It was a perfect fit for the design and the concept itself.” However, it wasn't all easy. “When you tattoo a person, you have to think about the muscles and tissue beneath the skin. With the car it was about the way the bodywork changes shape over the framework,” said Claudia.
The tattooed Lexus UX is a one off. Lexus' design has been rather stunning over the last few years, and this time around they are pushing the boundaries when it comes to art cars!