With a wind tunnel, orange pigment and a scaled replica, Artist Heidi Mraz imbues the historical essence of Porsche’s 906 onto her latest work of art, ‘Shaped by the Wind’
‘Shaped by the Wind’ is a spectacular, mixed-media assemblage that was privately commissioned to honor the history of Porsche 906-134, for which Artist Heidi Mraz has applied her extraordinary talents to spark curiosity through optical illusion.
Images courtesy of Heidi Mraz
GREAT FALLS, Va. (July 12, 2021) –Artist and Documentarian Heidi Mraz unveiled her latest work of art ‘Shaped by the Wind,’ a spectacular mixed-media assemblage (sized 48x72 inches or 121.9x182.8 cm) created to celebrate and preserve the unique story of chassis 906-134, one of Porsche’s legendary 906 street-legal racing cars. Following two years of research and assembly and more than 1,100 pieces of historically-based ephemera, ‘Shaped by the Wind’ is truly an example of bespoke automotive art. Heidi’s investigative and collaborative approach into 906-134’s provenance allowed her to include an in-depth array of detail, including Racing Team Holland photos, period racing program covers, names of previous owners, blue prints, test notes from Porsche, public auction records, mechanics’ records and restoration photos, to name but a few.
“I document, share, and save car stories using art as the vehicle,” says the Artist Heidi Mraz. “With ‘Shaped by the Wind’, I wanted to create a retrospect of my client’s 906 to preserve the history, memories and emotions that are woven into this person’s connection with this significant car, which can’t be expressed in a single snapshot. ‘Shaped by the Wind’ is one of my automotive assemblages, which are equal parts eye-candy, history lesson and hide-and-seek.”
As with all her pieces, Heidi takes a step further to infuse an underlying spirit into her subject matter by connecting with the essence of her subject and, in this case, here she used wind. Developed in the mid-1960s by Porsche in an effort to battle Ferrari’s V-6 engine with the Dino on the racetrack, the 906 was the first car Porsche ever designed in a wind tunnel in an effort to achieve optimum aerodynamics. Inspired, the artist and her team built a wind tunnel and, with a scale model of the 906-134 inside, filled more than 1,000 honeycomb-shaped chambers inside the tunnel with an ultra-fine, powdered orange pigment and then proceeded to turn on the fan so that the paint blew over and around the model. Ultimately, the paint was captured onto a primed canvas positioned at the end of the tunnel, which recorded the shape of the 906 created by the wind.
True to her mission in helping preserve automotive history through her own unique and creative lens, Heidi presents her final works of art, upon completion, with an accompanying dossier that includes her research, photos and printed records to correspond with the ephemera she includes in the piece. These materials expand upon the original file provided by the owner of the car to support the artist’s research when a commission is requested.
The unveiling of ‘Shaped by the Wind’ took place on July 10 at the exclusive Monticello Motor Club in Upstate New York, a private automotive club dedicated to driving enthusiasts, among friends and members of the club. Monticello Motor Club is home for the beloved 906-134 and, therefore, ‘Shaped by the Wind’ will remain on display in the Club’s Gallery, available for members’ viewing.
Heidi Mraz is an internationally acclaimed contemporary fine artist and automotive documentarian working in Great Falls, Virginia. Her car-inspired artworks are part of several international art collections, and her clients include some of the world’s foremost automotive collectors, brands and museums. A member of the Guild of Motoring Artists, Mraz is also an Artist Pro-Tem for the prestigious Torpedo Factory Art Center in Virginia. She has been the official poster artist for Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance in North Carolina and for the Art in Motion Concours in New York and is commissioned annually to paint the winning cars of the globally renowned Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She is a consulting curator for The White Collection in San Francisco and has judged several major American concours. Mraz has authored a book for a private collector on the 1951 OSCA MT4 Vignale and currently has a feature-length documentary in production, entitled “AUTOMOTIVE ARTIFACTS”, which chronicles the behind-the-scenes work of her historically-inspired automotive assemblages. In 2022 she was recognized as one of the world’s leading automotive artists and invited to exhibit her artwork at Sotheby’s in London as part of the Royal Automobile Club’s London Motoring Week.