fabian oefner explodes iconic sports cars using thousands of photos

fabian oefner explodes iconic sports cars using thousands of photos

fabian oefner explodes iconic sports cars using thousands of photos
(above) disintegrating 08 / porsche 956 (1982)
all images courtesy of fabian oefner




swiss artist fabian oefner returns with a new series of exploded cars, each meticulously created by deconstructing scale-models, and photographing the components in a precise position — thus creating the illusion of a dissembled and dismantled automobile. ‘disintegrating II’ — a sequel to a previous iteration published by designboom here — comprises five images that appear to be computer-generated renderings, rather than the real photographs they are. ‘I have always been fascinated by the clean, crisp looks of 3D renderings,’ oefner says. ‘so I tried to use that certain type of aesthetic and combine it with the strength of real photography.’ the iconic sports cars in this series are: auto union type C (1936-1937); maserati 250F(1957); ford GT40 (1969), bugatti 57 SC (1934-1940); and porsche 956 (1982).



fabian oefner: ‘disintegrating II’ photo series (making-of)
video courtesy of M.A.D.gallery




the images are initially formed by a sketch, where oefner decides the placement of each of the parts. then, from the body shell to the minuscule screws, the artist disassembles the more than one thousand components in the model, placing each piece individually with the aid of fine needles and pieces of string. after meticulously working out the angle of each shot, oefner takes thousands of photographs of the individual car parts. finally, these images are blended together in post-production to create one single photo.


‘what you see in these images, is a moment that never existed in real life,’ says oefner. ‘what looks like a car falling apart is in fact a moment in time that has been created artificially by blending over 2,000 individual images together. there is a unique pleasure about artificially building a moment… freezing a moment in time is stupefying.’

detail of ‘disintegrating 08’ 




these are possibly the ‘slowest high-speed’ images ever captured,’ he continues. ‘it took almost two months to create an image that looks as if it was captured in a fraction of a second. the whole disassembly in itself took more than a day for each car due to the complexity of the models. but that’s a bit of a boy thing. there’s an enjoyment in the analysis, discovering something by taking it apart, like peeling an onion. however, the hardest part was actually setting up the camera, lens and light, because the biggest frustration is when you can’t get any beautiful image out of it!’


‘disintegrating II’ is currently presented at M.A.D.gallery, dubai

disintegrating 04 / auto union type C (1936-1937)

detail of ‘disintegrating 04’ 

disintegrating 06 / ford GT40 (1969)

detail of ‘disintegrating 06’

disintegrating 05 / maserati 250F (1957)

detail of ‘disintegrating 05’ 

disintegrating 07 / bugatti 57 SC (1934-1940)

detail of ‘disintegrating 07’ 

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