French sculptor Natacha Mercier has created a whole new look for the famous Mercedes Benz car, by covering the vehicle in 100,000 dead flies.
The idea for this peculiar installation came to the artist after she witnessed a flash BMW driver who got quite a reaction from a crowd of people watching him tend to his car.
"It all started in 2007, at a service station on the Côte d'Azur. I was sitting on the front passenger seat, waiting for my friend who was filling the tank up. I turned my head and saw a beautifully tuned BMW on the other side of the road," Mercier said
. "A man got out, all dressed in white and golden, walked around the car, knelt down, spat in his hand and polished his aluminium alloy wheel. Around him, girls were dropping like flies. I was one of them..."
Not only did this experience give her the idea of using flies in her installation, but it also gave her an idea of what she hoped the installation would convey.
"This man was proudly parading, like a peacock," she added. "He was drawing all the girls' attention with his inflated ego, radiating an aura which I decided to exploit in the installation with the Mercedes and the flies."
With this in mind, the artist proceeded to cover an old Mercedes Benz in fly paper and place it inside a greenhouse. She then released approximately 100,000 flies into the area and let the magic happen.
Once the car was sufficiently covered in flies, the artist and her brothers took the car out for a spin on the streets of Toulouse, where several people looked on in horror and others scrambled over each other to take photos of the unique vehicle.
"I thought showing thousands of flies fly around a car with character, rush at it and stay stuck on it was a good reflection of our contemporary society, which imposes on us canons of beauty and consumption that we are to follow," she says of her work. "Besides, the black colour of the flies, the yellow flypaper and the white background make up a very interesting harmony of colours."
This is not the first time Mercier has created her own form of "automobile art." In 2004, she was inspired by an old Mercedes-Benz from the 1980s, which had been abandoned behind a pigeon house nearby a Bernard Thimonnier exhibition she was visiting. It was then that it occurred to her: "I’m going to get her married! Alone". And that she did, dressing up the old car as a bride, complete with a long, flowing veil.
She is currently working on a project involving an Opel Corsa.