When Rolls-Royce commissioned artist Bradley Theodore to use a Phantom as a canvas, they of course gave him carte blanche. What emerged from the artistic interplay between Theodore’s consciousness, unconsciousness and subconsciousness is a colorful, primal tonic for everything that a Rolls-Royce represents.
To some extent, John Lennon did the same thing with his own Rolls Phantom back in the late 1960s, turning the model into a gypsy caravan that allowed the political fireball of a musician to have his cake and eat it, too. In treating a symbol of aristocratic privilege in such a way, he was subverting everything it represented…while legitimizing the fact that he got to ride around in a symbol of aristocratic privilege. The sly boots.
Theodore’s approach is more Jungian, working with the Phantom as a vehicle for primeval archetypes. If in this case the Rolls-Royce is a symbol of civilized humanity, Theodore’s treatment has decorated it by allowing the collective unconscious a carte blanche of its own. There’s more than a little Basquiat in there, of course.
Will Rolls follow Porsche and BMW, and continue with a series of artist-meets-automobile projects? Time will tell.
Photo credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Abu Dhabi Motors/Facebook