In an unprecedented fusion of art and toy culture, Mattel Creations has announced a groundbreaking four-part collaboration with renowned contemporary artist Daniel Arsham. This ambitious project, two years in the making, is set to captivate collectors and enthusiasts alike as Arsham puts his unique touch on iconic Hot Wheels models and various collectables. The collaboration, aptly named "Laps," unfolds in phases, each revealing a distinctive facet of Arsham's creative vision.
Born in 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio, Arsham developed an early passion for art, leading him to attend the Cooper Union in New York City. His multidisciplinary approach to art, blending sculpture, architecture, and performance, set the stage for a career defined by innovation and exploration.
Arsham is renowned for his distinctive use of materials, particularly his fascination with time and erosion. His "Future Relic" series, featuring everyday objects rendered in geological materials, challenges our perception of time and the ephemeral nature of the familiar. Over the past year, Arsham has continued to experiment with time-blurring creations, inviting audiences to reconsider their relationship with the past, present, and future. As an artist with a background in architecture, Arsham's installations often transcend traditional gallery spaces. This year, his architectural interventions have redefined how we engage with physical environments. Whether transforming abandoned spaces into art installations or creating site-specific works, Arsham's approach to space challenges the conventional boundaries of artistic expression.
The inaugural lap of the 2023 Hot Wheels collection showcases Arsham's innovative take on classic Hot Wheels models, brought to life at the 1:64 scale. Among the eight reimagined models are a strikingly eroded version of Arsham's own Porsche 930 Turbo and a crystalized interpretation of the Rodger Dodger, a modified 1973 Dodge Charger SE featuring a formidable blown V8 engine protruding from the hood.
The visionary artist's signature aesthetic extends beyond the vehicles, encompassing an eroded Super Rally Case designed to hold each car in the collection. Drawing inspiration from the original 1968 Hot Wheels Rally Case, this centrepiece adds an extra layer of nostalgia to the collaboration.
Ted Wu, Vice President and Global Head of Design for Vehicles at Mattel shared insights into the design challenges faced during the two-year collaboration. The delicate task of translating Arsham's iconic aesthetic into the miniature scale of Hot Wheels resulted in a collection that seamlessly confluences the artist's vision with the essence of Hot Wheels.
As the realms of art and toy converge, the Mattel Creations x Daniel Arsham Hot Wheels collaboration emerges as a testament to creativity, innovation, and the enduring appeal of cherished childhood memories.
Adam Jordan Moosa