Mercedes-Benz announces art collaboration with Virgil Abloh

Project Geländewagen, which sees Virgil Abloh and Mercedes-Benz chief design officer Gorden Wagener reimagine the brand’s G-Class SUV, will be previewed exclusively in the September 2020 issue of Wallpaper*

Gorden Wagener and Virgil Abloh portrait images
The announcement visual shows Gorden Wagener, chief design officer of Mercedes-Benz, with Virgil Abloh, and a glimpse of Project Geländewagen. Photography: Bafic, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
(Image credit: Bafic, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz)

Mercedes-Benz announced today that it is collaborating with the multi-hyphenate designer, Virgil Abloh, to create a unique artwork.

Titled Project Geländewagen, the artwork will modify and reinterpret the German carmaker’s G-Class SUV, a robust off-road vehicle with a distinctive boxy silhouette, first launched in 1979. It draws on the hallmarks of the Mercedes-Benz brand: premium materials, superb craftsmanship and highly developed design; and intends to deliver a new vision of luxury that is defined by the sharing of ideas and disciplines.

In the preview announcement, Abloh calls the project ‘a perfect chassis to interject modern artists’ ideas of what the future can be stylistically, within conceptual car design’.

An X-Ray Vision of a Mercedes Benz car

A teaser image offers an X-ray view of the back of Virgil Abloh and Gorden Wagener’s reinterpretation of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV. Image courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

Echoing Abloh’s enthusiasm for creative experimentation, Mercedes-Benz chief design officer Gorden Wagener says that they are ‘set to create something unseen’ in automotive design, fashion and art. The project articulates Mercedes-Benz’s positioning as ‘more than a luxury carmaker, it is a design brand and luxury label.’

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dual image depicting artistic cutlery

(Image credit: TBC)

Virgil Abloh (opens in new tab)

Project Geländewagen will be revealed digitally to a global audience on 8 September 2020, at 4pm CET on mercedes-benz.com (opens in new tab).

Recognising a duty to support the arts and the international creative community in a time of uncertainty, Mercedes-Benz and Abloh have agreed to auction off a home-scale replica of their unique artwork following the launch event, with all proceeds donated to a charity that supports the arts. The winner of the auction will also receive a personal introduction to Abloh and Wagener, to learn more about the inspirations and intentions for the artwork.

The full story on Project Geländewagen, with exclusive preview imagery, will run in the September 2020 issue of Wallpaper*, on newsstands from 20 August. Wallpaper* subscribers will receive the issue with a limited-edition cover by Abloh. 

A Mercedes Benz G class sits on a driveway

The original Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Image courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

(Image credit: Mercedes-Benz)

INFORMATION

Project Geländewagen will be unveiled with a digital event on 8 September, at 4pm CET, at mercedes-benz.com (opens in new tab). Limited-edition covers of the Wallpaper* print edition are exclusive to subscribers, see wallpaper.com/sub20 (opens in new tab)

TF has been editor of Wallpaper* since December 2020. He is responsible for our monthly print magazine, planning, commissioning, editing and writing long-lead content across all our content pillars. He also plays a leading role in multi-channel editorial franchises, such as our annual Design Awards, Guest Editor takeovers and Next Generation series. He aims to create world-class, visually-driven content while championing diversity, international representation and social impact. TF joined Wallpaper* as an intern in January 2013, and served as its commissioning editor from 2017-20, winning a 30 under 30 New Talent Award from the Professional Publishers’ Association. Born and raised in Hong Kong, he holds an undergraduate degree in history from Princeton University.