Robb Interview: Digital Artist Chris Labrooy
Robb Report caught up with the artist to talk design, Porsches and the ducktail spoiler.
Chris Labrooy is a digital artist and designer from the UK – a man with a thing for Porsche, track days and subverting the ordinary to create art that is distinctive and immediately engaging.
Robb Report: Much of your work plays within an automotive field – what’s the appeal of cars, both personally and in exploring them through your work?
Chris Labrooy: Working on auto-related projects is what I mostly do between client work and it’s a good way to cut loose and do something stupid or beautiful or just whatever grabs my attention. Making images and animations is how I explore my enthusiasm and present my perspective on the automobile. I would be useless at writing about them or making any other type of content, so I put all my energy into making the most interesting images possible. And cars are loaded with meaning over and above their physical form which makes them really interesting to play with. There are so many facets to the automobile – from the materials they are made from and the sounds they make to the people who make them and people who drive them.
RR: Is there an ultimate narrative to what you produce – much of which is about twisting and altering the everyday; transplanting the obvious with the unusual?
CL: The surreal nature of my work is a symptom of the medium I use. With CGI there are very few limitations which instantly makes me feel like I should go beyond what’s possible because I have this amazing technology at my disposal. For example, it would be practically impossible for a photographer to shoot 12 blue Carrera RS’s in a pool. I think the ultimate goal with my work is more selfish and indulgent – I just love to spend my days making pictures.
RR: The Porsche 911 features in various works – a personal favourite, specifically the Carrera RS?
CL: The attraction of the 911 is its many decades of service. Because it has been with us for so long it exudes a confidence that very few cars can match. And you can place it in any context, from a race track to a swimming pool and it just works because it is one of the all time greats.
The prevalence of the RS in my works is simply due to the little ducktail spoiler. It’s just too cute.
RR: We heard you’ve got a decent track car and it actually gets used as such?
CL: There isn’t anything I dislike about driving other than traffic. And yes, I ran a Porsche Cayman GT4 for a few years and it is an incredible machine. The speed is most exhilarating, but I love the entire experience of taking it to the track – such as getting your gear ready the night before and planning your route to the circuit to take in some nice ‘B’ roads. Once at the track you meet other enthusiasts with their own stories which is also good fun. A relaxed drive home from the track with the stereo on is the perfect end to the day. Unfortunately, I don’t have the GT4 anymore as I sold it to build an eco house. As a result we have gone all electric, which has been an interesting journey, though one day I’d love to hop back into a sportscar.
RR: What do you hope people take from your work – fair to say that ultimately what’s presented is framed by a sense of whimsy?
I just really love juxtaposing different elements. The contrast between a ridiculous idea that is beautifully crafted or executed is something that’s always present in my images and animations.