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Porsche Artcars 1968 to 2022: Artists magically attracted

By far not all Porsche Artcars are made by Porsche itself - it started in 1968 with the 356 C by singer Janis Joplin. The latest addition is the Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo in a harlequin look by Sean Wotherspoon.

Artists seem to like Porsche - they have been creatively redesigning the racers for decades. Colorful cars don't always come out of it, and these cars aren't always just meant as a cheerful art object. A Porsche Artcar even won in Le Mans, another transports clear social criticism.

Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo by Sean Wotherspoon

The 32-year-old Sean Wotherspoon is a designer and influencer and stands for a colorful mix of colors and unusual materials in his streetwear. He is best known for the Nike Air Max 97/1 sneaker he designed in 2018.

In the same style, he has now designed his very own Taycan 4 Cross Turismo for Porsche. The colorful look, reminiscent of VW's Harlequin models, features Nash Blue, Sean Peach, Loretta Purple and Ashley Green inside and out. The artist named the paint colors after members of his family.

The vegan interior also brings materials such as cork and corduroy into play. The Taycan 4 Cross Turismo designed by Wotherspoon is rounded off by elements from Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur. These include the 21-inch Cross Turismo Design wheels and the rear wiper cover - each painted in black (high-gloss) as well as the light strip with Porsche lettering in black

Janis Joplin's 356 C by Dave Richards

The oldest artcar presented here is Janis Joplin's Porsche 356 C. In her a cappella song Mercedes-Benz ("Oh Lord, won't you buy me /a Mercedes Benz"), the singer ironically warned against seeking salvation in the purchase of expensive consumer goods. She herself apparently loved sporty two-seaters and bought a dolphin gray 1964 Porsche 356 SC convertible in 1968. At that time there were only nine colors to choose from. Of course, gray didn't suit Janis Joplin, so she paid her roadie David Richards $500 to paint the history of the universe on the car. The $500 from 1968 is worth $3,974 today (about 3,505 euros today). Richards immortalized, among other things, Joplin's still volume Big Brother and the Holding Company, Californian landscapes, the eye of God, an ibex, skull and mushrooms on the Porsche. Joplin loved the little racer and traveled a lot with it.

In 1969, a thief grabbed the Porsche. He tried to spray paint over the telltale painting of the one-off – the police caught him doing so. Richards removed the overspray residue without leaving any residue. Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose in 1970 at the age of 27. From then on, Janis' brother Michael took care of the car.When the paint had weathered, he gave the Porsche back its original dolphin grey. In the 1990s, Joplin's family commissioned artists Jana Mitchell and Amber Owen to restore the Richards livery to the car. After staying in various museums, Janis Joplin's siblings auctioned off the Porsche for charity. The proceeds were 1.76 million dollars (currently the equivalent of around 1.55 million euros) - never before had anyone paid so much for a Porsche 356.

911 RSR Le Mans by Richard Phillips

Porsche art cars have to be able to do more than just look good – that’s what Porsche works driver Jörg Bergmeister and his artist friend Richard Phillips apparently thought. Phillips had designed a helmet for Bergmeister in 2013 - and he transferred this design to a Porsche 911 RSR in 2019. The car won the Le Mans 24 Hours in the same year in the GTE AM class.

911 Carrera type 996 by Biggibilla

In 1998, a very special 911 of the 996 series was created in the showroom of the Porsche Center in Melbourne, Australia: the indigenous artist Graham J. Rennie, artist name Biggibilla, meticulously painted the car by hand. Among other things, the platypus native to Australia can be seen. Biggibilla decorated the car on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first Porsche 356 built.

968 L'ART by L'Art de L'Automobile

The current youngest representative of the Porsche Artcars is the 968 L'ART by L'Art de L 'Automobiles. With his rather radical redesign of a Porsche 968, artist Arthur Kar realized his ideas about the connection between cars and fashion. So the founder of L'Art de L'Automobile removed the roof, covered the rear rims and gave the car the eye-catching Perlcolor paint. For the interior there are leather seats in the exterior color and a specially designed Bose audio system.

911 Fat Car NFT by Erwin Wurm

While most Porsche artcars happily celebrate the automobile, the 911 designed by the Austrian sculptor and painter Erwin Wurm is almost bursting at the seams - the work of art is an overeaten 911 that seems to be melting. The digital work of art (NFT: Non-Fungible Token - digitally protected object) is called "Breathe in, breathe out" and shows the obese sports car as a breathing but immobile being. So this Porsche 911 is a biting criticism of a society that is constantly consuming and yet never has enough – just like Wurm did 20 years ago with his legendary Fat Car.

996 Swan by Chris Labrooy

The Scottish artist Chris Labrooy pursues the complete opposite of Erwin Wurm's critical approach. Labrooy is a dedicated Porsche fan and above all wants people to feel good when looking at his works of art.So he paints chic buildings that could be in Palm Springs, California, with a pool in front of them, in which a few 911s are bobbing. His 996 Swan by Chris Labrooy is the first of his artworks to make it from the digital to the real world - with the support of Porsche. The Swabian sports car manufacturer is celebrating 20 years of Porsche in China with this work of art. It is not for nothing that a huge swan stretches its neck out of the car at Labrooy's Porsche - the animal is considered a symbol of luck in China.

1970 911 S by Ornamental Conifer

Nico Sclater was born in Great Britain and then fled to sunny California. Under his stage name Ornamental Conifer, he decorates objects of all kinds with freehand typography. Ornamental Conifer presents humorous puns in pop art – and the three Porsches he designed are among his best-known works of art. Ornamental Conifer designed a 911 from 1977, which now resembles a Carrera 3.0 RS from 1974 after conversion work. He also created a 935 that was on display at the SEMA Show (Specialty Equipment Market Association) in Las Vegas. Ornamental Conifer made the 1970 Porsche 911 S shown here for a Texas customer. The message on the car reads: "Always stay unique."

Taycan Art Car by Richard Phillips

The American artist Richard Phillips is represented twice in this Porsche Artcar collection. Not only did he create the 911 RSR Le Mans Artcar, but a year later he also tackled Porsche's first electric car with the Taycan. Phillips designed the Taycan 4S live in December 2020 at the Leuehof pop-up restaurant in Zurich. Phillips used his 2010 painting "Queen of the Night" as a model for his Art Taycan. In spring 2021, the Taycan by Richard Phillips went up for auction - the proceeds went to artists suffering from the pandemic.

Crystal Embellished 911 by Daniel Arsham

Daniel Arsham is a visual artist known for designing his objects in the style of deconstructed futurism. According to his own statements, he drew Porsche sketches as a child. In 2019 he created this crystal-eroded 911 of the 992 series. Numerous crystals are embedded in the body of the 911, doors and fenders look as if large chunks of metal had broken out. The clean pure white of the body and rims stands in stark contrast to the glittering wounds of this 911. The car first stood at the Selfridges department store chain in London, then toured Asia and can now be seen in the Porsche Museum.

Taycan Artcar by SUMO!

Porsche of Losch Luxembourg also wanted to shine with a very special Taycan. For the opening of the Porsche Center Roost, the Luxembourg artist SUMO! commissioned to create a work of art on the subject of the future.SUMO! dismantled the car into its individual parts together with employees from the Porsche Center, transported it to an unknown location - and worked on the project for five months. Not only the outer skin is part of the work of art, the artist also redesigned the insides of the doors, the wheel rims and the car keys. The exterior design is said to be reminiscent of a space rocket that burns up when it re-enters the earth's atmosphere. The car can be seen at various events worldwide.

Taycan Artcars by Megan Claire Keho and Rei Misiri

In 2021, two Porsche Taycan artcars were created in front of a live audience at the Art Battle Canada. Rei Misiri competed against Megan Claire Keho - both had two hours to impress with their Taycan designs. Rei Misiri prevailed with the design of the black Taycan (on the right in the picture). Both cars are currently being used at events and press events.

911 Carrera by Nelson Makamo

According to the South African artist Nelson Makamo, he dreamed of owning a Porsche as a child. When he had the money for a Porsche, he ordered it from the start with the intention of turning it into an Artcar. And Makamo's car stands out from many other Porsche art cars with its restrained design: he only painted the bumpers, seats, the inner door panels and the side mirror covers. On the left door panel is the word "Mma" which means "mother" in Makamo's native language, Seped. Nelson Makamo dedicates the car to people who have been important to him on his journey so far. And he hopes that the Artcar will stimulate the imagination of children across the African continent.

Taycan with artwork by Dale Chihuly

And another Taycan as an art car: The American glass artist Dale Chihuly designed the electric car with floral patterns - similar to Richard Phillips. Apparently, the artists want to take away any perceived technical coldness from the futuristic electric car by integrating it a bit into nature through painting. Chihuly's Taycan was in the oasis of Gardens by the Bay in Singapore - a plant paradise with more than 1.5 million plants. As an automotive partner, Porsche Asia Pacific organized the "Glass in Bloom" exhibition there. With his powerfully glowing floral design, the artist wanted to show that a sports car is much more than just striving for high driving speeds.


The Porsche Artcars of the past decades were created for a wide variety of reasons and in a variety of implementations. Janis Joplin apparently just wanted a cool little sporty car in 1968. While she criticized consumerism in her songs, she drove her brightly painted Porsche 356 SC Cabrio – which, after a few mistakes, now exists again with a painting based on the original.And being beautiful wasn't enough for all Artcar creators: in 2019, a 911 RSR designed by Richard Phillips won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTE AM class.

With his 911 Fat Car NFT, the Austrian artist Erwin Wurm scathingly criticizes a consumer society that is overeating and has therefore become immobile. The South African artist Nelson Makamo wants to use his subtly designed 911 to commemorate people important to him and encourage creativity in children across Africa. Porsche's first electric car, the Taycan, has been particularly popular over the past three years, and several artists want to bring it a little closer to nature with a lush floral decoration.


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