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A car with fine lines - and nothing but

Posted by Christopher Shea  December 8, 2008 11:11 AM

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"Cars are utilitarian things," sneered the drama critic John Simon, after a writer for the Los Angeles Times, Dan Neil, won a Pulitzer Prize for criticism for a car column. "You might as well be a critic of kitchen utensils."

The installation artist Benedict Radcliffe would beg to differ. Radcliffe's florescent-orange, wire-frame rendition of the Lamborghini Countach -- one of the world's most recognizable supercars and a high point of 20th-century industrial design -- was recently on display at the Classic Car Club, in London. Fashioned out of 10-millimeter steel tubing and detailed down to the brand and make of the tires ("Pirelli P7"), the car looks like a computer-assisted design (CAD) sketch come to life.


Radcliffe told the car blog Jalopnik that his godfather used to take him to the racetrack, which is where he developed a lifelong fascination with cars. Seeing his first Lamborghini "made a lasting impression" (as it has many a boy before him). As for his design philosophy, "It's all about the economy of line -- too much steel and it becomes unsophisticated and not enough and it doesn't represent it sufficiently."

Radcliffe has been essaying these wire-frame cars for several years: His first was a Suburu Impreza, titled "Modern Japanese Classic," done up in white. Set on the street, it looks like a ghostly visitor from a video game or the product of some kind of visual trickery.


Via We Made This

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
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Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


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