If you’re a fan of Maseratis—especially, ones that are covered in one-of-a-kind horse-racing art—and have some disposable income, consider yourself in luck this summer in Saratoga Springs. DePaula Auto Group commissioned a uniquely crafted Maserati Ghibli Art Car to make an appearance on Opening Day at the Saratoga Race Course and a number of other charity events in the Capital Region this summer, including Equine Advocates’ 17th Annual Gala on August 2. DePaula got legendary digital artist Laurence Gartel to not only design the eye-catching, original artwork that covers the car from bumper to bumper, but also shuttle it around town. “I just drove up from the International Polo Club in Wellington, FL,” Gartel told saratoga living, who’s parked the purple, Saratoga-racing-themed Maserati in front of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (the car was unveiled there on the 20th). DePaula commissioned the luxe auto to help benefit Saratoga institutions such as Skidmore College, Saratoga Hospital, the Saratoga Auto Museum and the Racing Museum, among others.
Of course, Gartel won’t be the only one who has the pleasure of driving the car. Each charity—Equine Advocates, Saratoga Hospital, Skidmore, the Racing Museum and the Saratoga Auto Museum—will either raffle or auction off a chance for a lucky couple to drive the art car through Upstate’s selfie-friendly Adirondack Mountain region for an overnight stay at the Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa in Lake Placid (one just concluded at Skidmore’s Polo By Twilight on July 24). Each winner will also receive a piece of original artwork by Gartel. (Tickets for the Auto Museum’s raffle will be available at the upcoming Saratoga Wine & Food Festival and Saratoga Auto Auction this September.)
Unfamiliar with Gartel’s work? He’s known in the art world as the father of digital art. He was a digital designer long before there was a Photoshop, smart phone or even PC, and his work has been exhibited in top galleries across the globe (he was also the official artist of the 57th Annual Grammy Awards). “I taught Andy Warhol how to use the Amiga computer to create Debbie Harry’s album cover,” says Gartel of some of his early, groundbreaking work. (That’s the Blondie frontwoman’s second solo album, Rockbird, which features one of Warhol’s last portraits, by the way.)
This isn’t Gartel’s first foray into designing cars; eight years ago, he was commissioned by Tesla to create an “art car” for the 2010 Art Basel Miami Beach. Gartel’s psychedelically colored and pattern-rich Tesla Roadster was such a hit in Miami that he went on to design dozens of others. And now you—yes, you, dear reader—have the opportunity to not only see one of Gartel’s masterworks in person but actually drive it. It all depends on how generous you’re feeling—for the need, the need for speed.