Renault South Africa recently hosted an art exhibit in honour of the new Renault Mégane 2012 Collection. The exhibit gave fashionable, large-spectacle-wearing Jo’burgers the chance to see four artists use two Mégane Coupés and two Mégane Hatchbacks as if they were a canvas. Renault say the artists were tasked with creating original art that expresses the core brand values of Mégane. Each was provided with a Renault Mégane for a week. What follows are elaborate explanations of what inspired them.
Richard J Forbes: Mégane Coupé 1.6 Expression
Richard John Forbes lives and works in Johannesburg as a visual artist and works as a part-time lecturer at Pretoria University. He is most widely know for his sequence of visible public works produced in 2008 and 2009 which includes ‘Agua’ and ‘H2O’, two large-scale sculptures housed at Johannesburg Water, and two public monuments commissioned by the Johannesburg Development Agency. Richard is always aiming to expand the experiential and to actively engage his audience in the process. “While traveling the highways and byways of South Africa, I observed the sharp, rectangular, man-made and imposed quarries carved into the hillsides,” says Richard. “It came to me that the scars of the quarries would be a perfect site for a series of art installations depicting giant funnel spider webs. These webs could become site people would view and visit as they travelled, effectively allowing art to link the country.”
Neo Dhlamini: Mégane Hatch GT Line
Neo Dhlamini is a Johannesburg graphic designer and artist with a particular interest in Japanese anime, motion graphics, illustration and animation. The 23-year old holds a degree in design and graphic design and works as a graphic artist in Johannesburg. Neo’s art was presented on a Renault Mégane Hatchback GT Line. “My design is inspired by the stripes found on legendary racing and sports cars,” explains Neo. “Working with key words describing the Mégane, I fused those with the lines running over the car. “There are two lines running at the front onto the bonnet and splitting into six lines that extend to the top and the sides. The words graphically highlighted are ‘smart’, ‘intuitive’, ‘high tech’ and ‘easy’.”
Ana Damas: Mégane Hatch Dynamique dCi Energy
Ana Damas lives in Bryanston, Johannesburg. Her formal training includes stints at the Foundation Art School and the Michaelis School of Art in Cape Town, as well as at the Pretoria Technikon, majoring in sculpture and print making. Ana’s Renault Mégane is the Hatch Dynamique dCi Energy turbodiesel. “My concept is based on the myth of the goddess Sophia, which views the earth as a living entity or organism and points to her as the creator of the world,” Ana says. “The myth translates into artwork, through its use of organic lines, showcasing the blue Renault Mégane Hatch Dynamique dCi incorporated into the cosmos. Starting from the bonnet, I visualise a spiral galaxy with Mother Earth emerging from the core. The spiral arms of the galaxy spread along the sides of the car like branches of a tree.”
Rhett Martyn: Renault Mégane RS Trophy 265
Johannesburg-based Rhett Martyn is an artist and lecturer. He holds a national higher diploma in fine art from the Durban Technikon, and a masters degree in fine art from Wits University. “Perhaps there is only the slightest difference between what could be defined as a drawing, and what might be defined as random processes of mark making created as the by-product of any natural or mechanical action,” says Rhett. “Take for instance the way in which a car travelling at high speed might create markings along a road as the tyres deposit a layer of rubber on the asphalt if that vehicle had to suddenly come to a screeching halt. Are the subsequent road markings art, or are they merely the by-product of the functioning of the car stopping?” Rhett adds. “As I began to conceptualise a design approach for my car, I took into consideration how the car itself could become the facilitator of its own drawing process. How would it churn up dirt, pelting it onto the panels as it punched its way through roads at high speed? “The design is dirty, often aggressive, disparate and rough, yet it still reflects the grace of art by echoing the faceted chards prevailing in Parisian cubism – with a contemporary neon edge of course.”
For what its worth, we don’t think Renault South Africa needs to engage in such deliberate means to exhibit its Mégane 2012 Collection. We drove it last week and the value for money the 1.6 Expression and Dynamique coupe and hatchbacks provide is second to none, (and the Renault Mégane RS Cup doesn’t need anymore graphics than the 265 Trophy already provides; it’s the hottest hot hatch available right now – Ed.).