By Steve & Tamami Laser
We’ve seen art cars, wrapped cars, and scores with custom paint jobs. Yet we’ve never seen anything quite like the amazing new Lexus UX Tattoo, designed and created by noted London tattoo artists Claudia De Sabe, and her husband, Yutaro.
Called the “World’s First Tattooed Car” by Lexus UK, who commissioned the project, the couple spent the past six months taking the concept from initial drawings to the completed, one-of-a-kind vehicle.
This video, from the Lexus UK YouTube channel, features an overview of the amazing UX Tattoo. (video: Lexus)
“My main inspiration for the design of the car was just all the beautiful artwork that I’ve seen in Japan, in the temples, yukiyo-e prints, all of that artistic background,” said De Sabe.
Co-founder of Red Point Tattoo studio in Islington, De Sabe, and Yutaro, a Japanese native, transformed the pure white Lexus UX 250h into a work of art using Dremel tools, then brushed-on five liters of high-quality Lexus vehicle paint (Fuji Red, Solar Flare Orange, Velvet Black and Sonic White), applied real gold leaf highlights, and finished with a protective lacquer coat.
Inspired by traditional Japanese art, the design features dramatic koi running the full length of the vehicle. Lexus says that in Japanese culture, the koi represents qualities of good fortune and perseverance.
“When you tattoo a person, you have to think about the muscles and tissue beneath the skin,” said De Sabe. “With the car it was about the way the bodywork changes shape over the framework. The best thing about tattooing the Lexus UX, and the reason why this car was ideal for the project, is its streamlined shape.”
This additional video from Lexus UK goes into greater detail, highlighting “The Making of the World’s First Tattooed Car.” (video: Lexus)
Lexus says that the UX Tattoo stands as a tribute to the takumi craftsmanship in all of its vehicles, with design details and finishes created with skill and perfected during years of dedicated training.
During five eight-hour shifts, De Sabe stenciled the design onto the UX, and then used four specially modified Dremel tools to drill away the white surface paint and expose the sheet-metal underneath. Unlike a tattoo on a human customer, where small imperfections can often be re-worked, there was no margin for error – the drilling process required absolute precision.
The luxury automaker is known for applying traditional Japanese aesthetics in its vehicles, from the washi paper-grain cabin trims of the UX, to the merging of interior and exterior when viewed through the windshield, that echoes engawa architecture of traditional Japanese homes.
Disclaimer: The UX Tattoo Car was produced by trained professionals, in a controlled environment, using safety equipment. Please do not try this at home.
News source, photos and videos courtesy of Lexus (GB) PLC
Story (intro and commentary) © 2020 CarNichiWa.com