What do a Ugandan village, the triple G-spot, and a Morgan 4/4 have in common? The answer is Hornsleth. No, that’s not the latest jargon for some new sex joke. I refer to Kristian von Hornsleth, a British conceptual artist of Danish descent who has quickly sealed a reputation for pure audacity, if nothing else.
The man who once paid the inhabitants of a Ugandan village a pig per man to change their names to Hornsleth was recently engaged by Morgan Motors to decorate 10 different 4/4 sports cars. Now one could easily imagine that Morgan might be trying to provide a youthful new facelift to an aging model, like car companies often do. After all, the 4/4’s styling is beyond retro, to say the least. Ironically, the car’s design isn’t an attempt to duplicate or re-imagine an old design…it is an old design. The 4/4 has been in production in various forms for 74 years. It’s a living classic, in a sense.
Rather than unduly updating the 4/4 model, though, Morgan is rather updating their messaging, seeking to extend their branding to the social strata of cutting edge design and comtemporary art. “The Hornsleth Morgan car project challenges people’s opinions of this classic car,” reads a statement from Morgan on the artist’s website. “Morgan cars, while maintaining their vintage feel are continuously at the forefront of modern cultural style and design.” And one look at at last summer’s Eva GT (pic below), and you realize that this is no stretch…
Not just a piece of art, but a piece of performance art at that, the #1 Hornsleth Morgan 4/4 was hand-painted by the artist live during the Lord Mayors Parade in London last November. Since then it’s made the rounds, with an appearance last month at the Milan Design Week (flyer above) and, most recently, inclusion in a Hornsleth exhibit last Thursday night at the GGGallery in London (below), the artist’s first major solo show in the city.
Now if he wants to get really audacious, I suggest letting the Ugandan villagers take their turn with the Hornsleth Morgans. Nothing like driving a car that bears your name, after all. And for bang-for-your-buck pr, what’s better than an international incident?