In 2003

Alain Authier, a Quebec City travel professional, has a crazy idea – to have his new espresso coffee machine painted, since he finds it esthetically quite dull looking. Furthermore, he wishes to have it painted by the renowned artist, Claude LeSauteur. However, one of the snags is that he hasn’t yet met the artist. But through a number of contacts, he soon does get to meet him.

The meeting is cordial, even friendly, but the answer is a definite NO. Claude LeSauteur is still reeling from the last colossal job he realized. It was the monumental and multifaceted undertaking ordered by Mr. Paul Desmarais, for the Board of Directors room in the Power Corporation Canada building, in Montreal. That project mobilized all of his time and energy for many years. So, absolutely no interest in designing a coffee machine…

But Alain Authier is not a guy who gives up easily. He goes back to the drawing board, pursues his reflection and a few months later presents his new idea, which is to have an original Claude LeSauteur design painted on a Porsche 911. The idea runs its course and a few months later, the project is born…on all four wheels.

From 2D to 3D

Once completed, this project will boast a series of 8 Porsche 911 cars designed by the same number of artists. To date, four cars have been designed, the first one by Claude LeSauteur, followed by three other artists: Jean-Pierre Lafrance, Dominic Besner and Marcel Barbeau.

Each of these art car designs (created specifically for this project) was then brilliantly reproduced (and completed in 2013) by Yves Thibault, a true magician, who specializes in car painting!” It’s a tremendous challenge and a puzzle all in one”, declares the man. “There is a whole lot of deformation needed to fit the designs onto the peculiar format of the Porsche vehicle, all while respecting the artists’ original work.” 

One of the main difficulties that Mr. Thibault must compose with is the adaptation of a two dimensional design into three dimensions.

Even with what is considered flat work, such as the Claude LeSauteur and Marcel Barbeau designs, the challenge is very real. However when you add the presence of texture, spots and movement, such as those present in the drawings of Jean-Pierre Lafrance and Dominic Besner, it represents even more pressure on Yves Thibault’s shoulders.  “I am obliged to stop working after a maximum of 6 hours per day, because I feel completely drained. I use many different means and materials such as brushes, fingers, felts, airbrush, to succeed in adapting the original design, with the greatest respect.”

Let’s now speak of the search for the truest colors. Generally, Yves begins working with light colors and gradually works up to darker tones, revising dozens of times until he obtains full satisfaction.

You would probably like to know the total number of hours to arrive at the final result, right.  “A lot”, he says without giving a precise number. I do not use a computer…just my eyes and hands. All of the artists named above have been amazed with the results.”

Contagious pride

The main characteristic of this project rests on the pride that all involved players feel when looking at the finished products. Claude LeSauteur, was literally spellbound by the result in 2004, and he raved about the skills and abilities of Yves Thibault.

Anecdote

Once Mr. LeSauteur’s Porsche was done, he said to Alain Authier: ‘now bring me your coffee machine, I will paint it for you!” This artist indeed shares in that palpable sense of pride! Here were his comments: “I have been working at this job for 34 years. Before Alain’s project, I mainly designed motorcycles, a few helicopters and boats. But since I was asked to participate in the Porsche project (a car that I didn’t especially like before and that I now love) my total approach has changed. It has given me an opportunity to go even further, and raise the level of quality in my work.”

Last Spring, when “his” Porsche was finished, Jean-Pierre Lafrance was surprised, even astounded by the technical feats of Mr. Thibault. The same Yves Thibault, Alain Authier and Claude LeSauteur experienced the same excitement for Marcel Barbeau, who, just  last November,  traveled to receive his 2013 Paul-Emile Borduas prize, driving “his” Porsche.

As for Dominic Besner, he was pushed into this project by Claude LeSauteur’s wife. After his meeting with Alain, the deal was done. “He is a visionary and he sees very far…”

Of course, Alain Authier shares in this generalized enthusiasm and is very attentive to spectator gazes, whether art connoisseurs, automobile connoisseurs or not, when they first set their eyes on either one of the Porsche 911 series for the first time. They just light up!

End of 2015

The eight masterpieces on wheels will be completed by the end of 2015. At that time, Alain Authier wishes to begin showing them off together and not only in Quebec, since the project relies on the participation of a few worldly renowned artists, whose names remain to be determined, at this time.
To be continued…

Source: Parcours Magazine

Porsche 911