"My inspiration for this sculpture began with my fascination and appreciation for all the hood ornaments that incorporated the female form into their design. The earliest might have been Rolls Royce's Spirit of Ecstasy or 'Flying Lady' designed by Charles Sykes in the early 1900s. This tradition continued throughout the decades but reached a peak from the 30s to 50s. The female form was stylized in various ways that emphasize movement and speed, which included flowing hair and graceful arching of the body. These chrome-plated beauties graced various makes of cars like Buick, Plymouth, Chevrolet, Packard, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, DeSoto, Nash, Cadillac, and many others both foreign and domestic.
Over the past few years I studied these hood sculptures at every Concours that I went to, and as I was starting to incorporate the female form into my sculptures, it was then that I came up with the concept for Veronique. The obvious was to do the opposite of a car with a female hood ornament: create a female 'automobile' with a car as the mascot!
There was much more to this concept, such as how erotic and sensual some of the early French cars were, like the Talbot Lago, Bugatti and Delahaye. There were also exotic cars like Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Mercedes and Jaguar that seemed to have been inspired by the female form.
In Veronique I wanted to incorporate the female form into a stylized automobile to capture the best of both worlds. From her sleek reclined body, to the sensual curves of the fenders, to the roof with the subtle fin down its back, to the chrome-plated grille and hood ornament, I tried to be subtle in some ways and then again not in others.
The color scheme for the sculpture has the body painted in a dark plum pearl color with a hint of flesh base tone that changes in various lighting situations. The fenders are shiny black on the top with red on the underside, and the roof is shiny black too.
The sculpture is life size: around six feet long and anatomically correct in many ways. There are subtle additions like fins on the arms and legs. The stylized grille adds to the dynamic forward movement of the piece; the headlights are formed into the shoulders; the front marker lights are on the front fins; the taillights are designed to flow around the heel of the foot, and the exhaust pipes come out of the soles of the feet. There are also side opera lights that have my chrome-plated signature.
Veronique appears to float above the stainless steel surface, which has thin lines of lights that reflect on the underside of the piece. All the lights are LEDs and are programmed in sequence to show changing colors, high and low beam headlights, blinking front and rear lights, and even a red glow from the tailpipes!
The whole piece is approximately 6 feet long by 2 feet wide by 4 feet high. The black laminate base has some stainless steel tubes connecting the two ends. There is also a special spandex car cover to keep her covered when not in use, or when you just want to see the overall automobile form suggested under the cover.
This has been my ultimate piece to date. I spent over 6 months producing it and spent many thousands on the fabrication of all the components and elements that comprise this sculpture. There are many different processes involved: fiberglass, aluminum, resin, chrome and other materials that are used in the making of a real automobile.
Finally, I chose the name 'Veronique' because in French it means 'the truth' which I thought would be appropriate for this type of automotive sculpture. She is definitely 'the ultimate driving machine' and I'll let you imagine what the 'GT' stands for."