Studies in medicine and architecture and the principles of these disciplines, a passion for classic cars, sculpture... These might seem like completely incompatible things, but not for French sculptor Antoine Dufilho. He managed to combine all this into a coherent whole, and the result is original sculptures that highlight the lines of famous classic cars.
After studying architecture and medicine, Antoine Dufilho directed his talents and passion for cars to sculpture. He grew up in a family where he was surrounded by creative people who helped him nurture his talents as an architect, painter and sculptor. For example, his father is a surgeon and his great uncle is Jacques Dufilho – a famous French comedian and producer.
“During my childhood, the summers at my grandfather's house were largely devoted to making sculptures from clay harvested from the dread of his farm. I came from a family of car lovers, starting with my grandfather and my great-uncle, an owner of a Bugatti Grand Prix, who passed on their love of automobiles to my father, a collector himself, he naturally transmitted the same passion to me,” remembers A. Dufilho.
It therefore comes as no surprise that Dufilho’s first work was a rendition of the Bugatti Grand Prix. This very first work opened many doors for him. Today his work can be found in various galleries and private collections, as well as at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Dufilho has a unique way of exploring a subject and its shape; he likes to experiment in the creative process without knowing the final result. He is currently completely immersed in his most ambitious project yet: a full-sized Bugatti Atlantic made from aluminium.
All of his handmade pieces come to life at his workshop in a town named Quesnoy-sur-Deule in the Northern part of France. The workshop has gradually become equipped with various benches and machinery, sandblasting and painting booths, and every type of welding machine imaginable. He uses materials such as metals, wood and resin that he can source within a 30 km radius, and the only work he entrusts to others is the laser cutting of the metal plates.
“The material that I use the most is metal because it is an element that allows me a freedom to add or subtract, unlike wood. Metal also has the advantage of being eternal unlike composite materials.” He continues, “Wood remains the most pleasant material to work with and brings interesting natural colours and designs while it is also still present in automobiles today.”
Dufilho selects the crème de la crème of icon models for his work, and the Sequential collection features sculptures of eight of them, from a Ferrari 250 GTO and a Bugatti Atlantic to a Mercedes W196 Streamliner.