As we leap into the metaverse, a space found at the intersection of virtual reality, augmented reality, and reality-reality, digital art becomes more important than ever. So, perhaps the title above shouldn’t have been about Chris Labrooy doing his first proper* Ferrari, but rather about Ferrari getting its first Labrooy.
The Scotland-based digital artist, now in his early 40s, is famous for a style that can be described as nostalgic, appealing, and, at the same time whimsical, irreverent, and absurd.
I’ve been writing about his work since 2017, but one only needs to spend a few minutes enjoying the artist’s creations for his standout style to forever stay with the beholder.
At least as far as his public artworks are concerned—Instagram is among the man’s preferred galleries—this remastered F355 marks the first time when Labrooy applies his full method to a Ferrari.
Yes, he did release a Testarossa back in November 2020 (you’ll find this in the second post below). But that V12 machine, whose production did overlap with the V8 model portrayed here in the mid-1990s, only used the artist’s style as far as colors and surroundings were concerned, while also being surrounded by a myriad of machines.
By contrast, this 1980s Prancing Horse gets completely revamped. And, as far as the background is concerned, this is portrayed in a multicolored studio background.
The posterior is where most of the magic happens, with a partial rear bumper delete exposing the otherwordly, vividly-colored inner workings of this Fezza’s emission control hardware.
One may see a bit of Pac-Man in there, while the orange piece comes with a “cataclysmic” stamp, having inspired the nickname I dropped in the title.
Above, we can notice what appears to be the F355’s V8 heart (with a splash of chrome), albeit with this sitting a bit higher than normal, which mandated the engine cover cutout.
In between the two said bits of the supercar, right below the F355 GTS badge—this stands for the targa top version, a detail that’s not clearly visible—we have a Porsche reference.
That floating flamingo-intertwined, air-cooled 911 isn’t there to simply set traditionalists on fire. Instead, it serves as a reference to the core artwork of Labrooy—he’s played with Porsches, mostly 911s, in so many ways that the German automaker even built one of his flamingo-augmented pieces in real life, albeit based on a 996 Neunelfer.
Speaking of fire, there’s are stickers talking about this sort of hazard on the now-exposed fender liner—this may or may not be a reference to the 2009 recall the Italians issued for this model due to a fuel leak that could lead to a fire.
The interior is a multi-colored dream
Once you peek into the cabin and manage to look beyond the trippy-finish Recaros, you may notice there are no gearshift paddles attached to the steering wheel.
Normally, this would mean the automated manual tranny is not present, with the vehicle packing the treasured six-speed gated manual. But this is Chris Labrooy we’re talking about, so how about that engine and exhaust being there purely for old-time aesthetics’ sake?
You see, while replying to a comment on the Insta post showcasing the F355, the artist drops a little EV bomb: “it’s electric. Exhaust is just for show,“
Thanks to various elements such as the translucid wheels, industrial pattern present on the windows and on the back of the car, the taillights, and maybe the color play on the front end, I see a bit of Rinspeed here. Coincidentally, or not, the Swiss concept builder/tuner has never worked on a Ferrari, but it has gifted a 911 with Testarossa styling—that would be the “R69” 930-gen Neunelfer of the 80s.
Now, before anybody points out that Ferrari usually doesn’t take kindly to such initiatives (in real life or rendered), not even when they’re digital, allow me to remind you that Labrooy’s work is featured on the official Lamborghini website—it celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Diablo, albeit without going further than the surface.
Regardless, this “F355 with an attitude adjustment”, as the artist calls the Fezza, seems like the perfect 90s time capsule, customization included.