How Auto Art Is Made: Benedict Radcliffe’s Wireframe

In a graffitied and nondescript lowrise in London’s East End, there are a lot of extraordinary things happening.

Auto Art Behind the Unmarked Double Doors

Behind unmarked double doors, you can find Benedict Radcliffe transforming plain old mild steel rod into four-wheeled, three-dimensional pieces of ethereal art. Bending, welding, cutting, and painting to create fluorescent sculptures that can widen your eyes and baffle your brain.

How Auto Art Is Made: Benedict Radcliffe’s Wireframe

While studying at Glasgow’s Mackintosh School of Architecture, Benedict Radcliffe was trained in welding and fabrication by Andy Scott, who is a creator of a 30m horse head sculpture ‘The Kelpies’ that towers over the M9 motorway and the ‘Heavy Horse’ wireframe that is placed on the M8 motorway. After his graduation in 2004, he created ‘Modern Japanese Classic’ – the Impreza wireframe. Because it was too large to fit inside the venue, it was placed, or more like ‘parked,’ on the street outside. With that piece of art, his signature style was born.

Photoshop Drawing, Dragged and Dropped on the Street

You might well have seen some of the automotive specters that are made by Radcliffe: a brilliant white Subaru Impreza P1, a bright orange Lamborghini Countach, or a neon pink Range Rover Evoque. Each one of them was seemingly drawn in Adobe Photoshop and dropped onto a street scene. The main difference is that they are, in fact, genuine. In Heathrow’s Terminal 2, you may well have spotted a London taxi that can genuinely turn many heads – an orange Austin Fx4 that is commissioned by the airport. It represents modern Britain. All are instantly recognizable cars, distilled into full-scale, minimalist wireframes.

How Auto Art Is Made: Benedict Radcliffe’s Wireframe

Radcliffe’s studio, just off Brick Lane, is dominated by a central ‘datum table,’ where he builds his wireframe cars. The walls are lined with a huge bicycle frame. This is how a 1:1 wireframe Honda Gold Wing motorcycle was created and displayed in the V&A Museum in 2012 and full-scale blueprints of his next project – a Ferrari F40.