We'd call that a fair trade.
Previously known as Volvo's performance arm, Polestar has since blossomed into its own brand. Its first vehicle, the Polestar 1, was launched to critical acclaim, with the world's motoring press lauding the hybrid coupe's incredible handling.
But it's the styling that really captured the public's attention. The minimalist, handsome styling is a rare mix of menacing and elegant. The brand still draws inspiration from the styling cues to this day, as seen on the Polestar 2. The brand's first model will certainly go down as a piece of automotive art.
It's rather fitting then, that the company's latest project centered around art. In 2021, the company announced the "Art for Art" initiative that encouraged artists and collectors to submit anything from paintings to photography for the chance of receiving a Polestar 1 in return - it's certainly a worthwhile exchange; just 1,500 units of the sleek coupe were ever made.
Polestar received more than 500 submissions, but just one anonymous art collector made the cut. The Swedish aesthete said owning the rare performance hybrid is truly special. "I traded street art for street art. It's a special feeling to own something made in limited numbers, but I will definitely drive the car. If I were only to keep it as a collector's item, it would have been more practical to keep the art piece - it's easier to store as well."
The Gothenburg-based brand's private art advisor Theodor Dalenson headed up the project and, together with renowned auction house Sotheby's, has been evaluating the various pieces to see whether their value equals that of the Polestar 1. "When a car is considered interesting among collectors while also only being produced in limited numbers, then it becomes even more attractive. The same philosophy applies in the art market," he said.
The automotive industry colliding with the art world isn't anything new. BMW is best known for its contribution to the creative community, with a slew of art cars coming out of Munich over the years. The latest, based on the new BMW 2 Series Coupe, was inspired by the German and Mexican cultures.
Not one to be left out, Mercedes-Benz also unveiled a range of art cars inspired by great cities across the world. While the idea is sound enough, the execution isn't exactly worthy of being called art. All four vehicles were unlucky enough to be covered in repulsive designs which sit at odds with the brand's upmarket image. Porsche has also dabbled in the arts and, for the most part, the creations have been very appealing. Some, however, seem to miss the mark.