For the conceptual design project, titled “Project Geländewagen,” Abloh recreated the G-Class model as an artwork, which will be made into a scale replica and auctioned off via Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated for an estimated $60,000 to $80,000. A joint venture between Abloh and Mercedes-Benz Chief Design Officer, Gorden Wagener, the pair explained that they felt “compelled to help support the arts and the international creative community at a critical time,” according to a press release.
Abloh added, “Mercedes-Benz is a brand that stands for luxury and exceptional performance. Truly a perfect chassis to interject modern artists’ ideas of what the future can be stylistically, within conceptual car design.”
“The next step in pushing Mercedes-Benz design is our collaboration with Virgil Abloh. We are set to create something unseen in both of our branches,” Wagener added.
The auction winner will also gain exclusive access to Abloh and Wagener, with proceeds going to a charity that supports the arts. Abloh and Wagener are also co-curating the Sotheby’s auction, which takes place on Oct. 2. The sale is set to feature a number of works spanning postwar to contemporary art, from artists like Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, Barkley L. Hendricks, Kerry James Marshall, Gerhard Richter, Richard Diebenkorn, Rush Asawa, and more.
Abloh redesigned the G-Class as a race car, the first of its kind. Prior to the unveiling, Abloh and Benz also shared images of their collaborative glove.
“My ultimate goal in this project with Mercedes-Benz is inspiring young artists, engineers, designers to question the status quo, in addition to experimenting with my own design abilities,” Abloh added. “For me it’s all about providing opportunities for those coming after me and giving this next generation a foundation for success, both here with Mercedes-Benz and through my own Virgil Abloh™ "Post-Modern" Scholarship Fund.”
To find out more about the project, watch the launch event video above.