By Nicole Schubert | April 4, 2019 | Culture
When you walk into a Romero Britto exhibition, you expect to see vibrant colors and bold patterns combined with elements of cubism, pop art and graffiti that depict a commentary of hope, joy and optimism. But this season, the Brazilian-born, world renowned artist is showcasing a different type of piece: one that brings art, technology, and faith together in a new medium. Partnering with Prestige Imports’ Karma Miami and Karma Automotive to construct a 2019 Karma Revero—originally part of Ride2Revive’s 8th annual track event—Britto will be displaying and selling his interactive one-of-a-kind work for $170,000, with a portion of proceeds benefitting the Ride2Revive initiative that supports children facing critical illnesses.
Amid this never before seen collaboration, Ocean Drive sat down with Britto and Brett David, CEO of Prestige Imports and Co-Founder of Ride2Revive, to hear more about this exclusive collaboration, marrying traditional paintbrush artwork with the lusted after four-wheeled medium, and bringing joy and color to the children of Ride2Revive.
Romero, tell us about your recent partnership with Prestige Imports’ Karma Miami to create the one-of-a-kind Karma Revero.
ROMERO BRITTO: The David family have been dear friends for years and I'm always happy to participate. I got to drive the Karma and it’s a great car. It has very unique technology and I love that they chose this car for the event.
Brett, why choose the Revero luxury hybrid for this collaboration?
BRETT DAVID: Karma Revero as a luxury hybrid is a leader in its class. When we decided to partner Britto’s art with a vehicle to create a piece of performing art, we wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before. We had wrapped Lamborghinis in the past, but this year we wanted to do something with a US-based manufacturer, like Karma. The Karma Revero uniquely stays true to the authentic elements of a hybrid while also utilizing the most beautiful design. Seeing the families get behind the wheel of the car, and seeing the children’s excitement was proof that the partnership had turned out perfectly.
On sale for $170,000, how is this ultra-luxe sports car different from others?
BD: It’s the first hybrid luxury vehicle that still holds its own amongst others in the luxury sports arena due to its appearance, design and rarity. This is the perfect purchase for an art aficionado who will not only will have the opportunity to keep his beautiful Britto pieces secure in his home, but will also be able to utilize this vehicle to express his love for the art to South Florida with one of the most beautiful cars known to date.
Romero, you produced a fantastical work that’s a bubble of imagination. Elaborate on this piece.
RB: It’s always a very exciting creative process. I have in the past created art for many other cars and also planes, boats and helicopters for both private and corporate collectors. It’s a very exciting way to showcase the artwork as a moving canvas.
Are you striving to bring art and technology together to create a new medium of luxury?
RB: Art, fashion, design and technology always go hand in hand. In my career I’ve been very fortunate to have many companies approach me to license my work. I've always been interested in companies that collaborate with artists to promote their products. I've worked with many companies like Coca-Cola, Disney, PepsiCo, Evian, Absolut, Hublot, Movado and many more.
Your work with the Karma was originally produced to bring joy and a spark of magic to the children benefitting from Brett David’s Ride2Revive charity racetrack event. Do you feel that contemporary art can transmit life back into children's lives and how can they relate to it?
RB: Absolutely, art can bring joy and happiness. I’ve always been interested in depicting a world full of color and joy. There are so many challenges and many difficult situations in the world but also beauty and love. I always wanted my art to be colorful and focus on the positive always, with a message of happiness and joy.
Using bright hues as your main instrument, how do you plan to teach children who are enduring difficult situations to see the positives in life through art?
RB: I think this has come very natural, children are drawn to the colors of my work and my images because it makes them feel a certain way. I've been very blessed to do every day what I love and I'm very passionate about it. My art has taken me around the world and I'm always incredibly happy and humbled to learn of hundreds of schools and universities that teach their students through my art and my story.
As one of the most philanthropic figures in Miami, elaborate on your work with fellow organizations.
RB: I came to Miami when I was very young and Miami was a window of opportunity for me and my work. I feel very blessed and believe in always giving back to the community. I’m now involved in many international organizations that do a lot of good around the world. Miami is my hometown and I always feel the responsibility to give back to the people in this community.
Do you have one story that changed your life forever?
RB: Wow, there are so many experiences that I feel have been so powerful and influential. I have met so many people from around the world that collect and believe in my art like Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce and Elton John and so many others. But one of the earliest that really showed me I was on the right path was meeting Michel Roux back in 1988. Michel worked for Absolut vodka in charge of the Absolut Art campaign, but I did not know that until after about an hour talking with him in my studio in Coconut Grove. He then told me he wanted me to create an Absolut ad, which I did in 1989. It was such a positive experience and his friendship had been so important to me and still exists all these years later.
Your artwork is synonymous with Miami. What's next for you?
RB: I have so many plans. The art world is like no other business. In a way it’s incredible because it can be anything. It’s constantly changing. You can influence people’s perspectives and thoughts through images. I'm always very excited and optimistic about the future.
Photography courtesy of Prestige Imports