Based on a Lexus UX, this unusual "tattoo" art car project took six months to complete.
We've seen some eye-catching art cars over the years, but this is on a whole different level. What you're looking at here is the world's first tattooed car based on the Lexus UX compact SUV. The Japanese luxury brand commissioned leading London tattoo artist Claudia De Sabe to design the one-of-a-kind compact SUV.
Using a pure white car as a "canvas," used a Dremel drill tool instead of a traditional tattooing needle to carve an eye-catching koi carp design into the metal, spanning the entire length of the vehicle. The koi carp represents "qualities of good fortune and perseverance."
The Dremel tool was used to drill away the surface paint and expose the metal underneath to create the complex pattern. After the pattern was drilled into the metal, layers of paint were applied by hand to bring out the details. A gold leaf was used to create highlights to give the design a stronger 3D effect before a protective lacquer coating was applied so the Lexus UX can still be driven on the road.
The unique art car project took six months to complete from the initial drawings, while the "tattooing" took over five eight-hour days of intensive work and required absolute precision to engrave. It was also physically demanding for the artist thanks to the vibration of the drill and working with an object that couldn't be moved into a comfortable position as the design progressed.
"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," Claudia, explains.
"'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."
The tattooed Lexus UX isn't for sale, but Lexus estimates it would cost over £120,000 ($140,000) to commission.