It’s an understatement to say that Cyril Kongo’s art is expressive. In 2016, a collaboration with Richard Mille saw the international street artist transform his namesake RM 68-01 Kongo Tourbillon into an unprecedented work of art. Abstract yet avant-garde, his contemporary work is infused with street culture, boasting layers of heavy contextual expression. Kongo’s most recent work sees him move from a mechanical microcosm to something a little bigger in scope: a Maserati GT4.
The Maserati x Cyril Kongo GT4 is the latest in the street artist’s universe of graffiti. From high school dropout to working with global icons like Airbus, Hermes, and Chanel, Kongo aka Cyril Phan, would never have figured out that his work would sell today for sums up to €15,000 per square meter, nor imagined that the graffiti he painted on the streets of Paris would become famous beyond French borders. From graffiti unknown to cultural super star, the self-taught French-Vietnamese artist has never forgotten his roots but heritage which drives his visual identity lives on a legacy of high profile vehicular installations like the custom painted plane that landed on the famous Champs Elysees Avenue in 2018, or the 1983 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur for the Doha Art Fair in 2019 and now, his unbridled joie de vivre and optimism in a bespoke Maserati GT4.
It’s hard to imagine, but It’s been 10 years since Maserati introduced the race-spec GranTurismo MC for the Trofeo World Series and the original Maserati Granturismo GT4 is driven by a V8 engine designed by Ferrari for the F430. By 2015, no fewer than 10 teams placed orders for GT4-spec for use in the championship. Designed to compete in the GT4 European Cup series, the 433-horsepower machine was conceived for circuit race domination thanks to tight, responsive steering and some serious straightline speed (north of 187 mph). Even in 2020, the default Maserati Granturismo GT4 enjoys a combination of eye-catching looks, hair-raising performance, and brand cache, but it is Kongo who adds his magic touch to the Maserati x Cyril Kongo GT4, elevating it from high performance vehicle to sculptural performer on wheels.