Land Rover's latest urban intervention isn't in the shape of a new vehicle. Instead, the company has initiated an artistic collaboration that'll grace the banks of the Thames throughout the week of Frieze London. 'Unstoppable Spirit' is the work of Italian artist Nino Mustica, working hand in hand with Land Rover's unstoppable design director Gerry McGovern, a man with a strong sense of exactly where he wants his brand to go.
Flanking the Royal Festival Hall, in what's become a favoured spot for bold temporary structures, the seven-metre-tall pieces make a major impact. Mustica's paintings and sculptures have evolved over the course of his long career, finding fresh expression through technology and the leap from canvas to physical objects. Based in Milan since the mid 1980s, he was an early adopter of 3D-modelling software, using it as an artistic tool to create dynamic sculptures that were a visual precursor to so much of today's data-driven architecture and design.
Mustica's innovations have found a perfect parallel with the auto industry, and particularly with the strong, sculptural, unashamedly modern design language Land Rover has crafted over the past few years. Of course the new sculptures are also literal platforms to present a new product, and the car in question, the new Land Rover Discovery Sport, is an appropriately tough and dynamic machine to synch with Mustica's fluid forms.
The end result is akin to an explosion in a computer-design lab, with the sleek bodyshell of McGovern's Discovery Sport floating above Mustica's trademark splashes. The hybrid installations celebrate the interplay between surface, shape and light – and also Land Rover's ability to transcend any surface and any condition.