One auto designer-turned-artist found a way to sate both of his life’s passions—and the colorful results could be yours. Rich B. Caliente has a hand-painted Porsche 911 and an NFT to match, and the first-of-its-kind duo is heading to auction.
Caliente, a proud Miami local who worked in the auto industry for 15 years before becoming a full-time artist, says offering the NFT in conjunction with his colorful 911 was a way of immortalizing his creation in both the physical and digital world.
“To me, it’s very important to have something tangible,” Caliente told Robb Report on a recent Zoom call. “So it’s kind of like my twist on an NFT, where you have something that’s a digital capsule, but you also have something that can be enjoyed in real life.”
The artist, who has wrapped exotic rides for an array of high-profile collectors, enlisted some impressive help to make the project happen: The bespoke 2021 Porsche 911 that’s gifted with the NFT was made in collaboration with rapper Rick Ross. The Grammy Award winner also signed the car to give it a dose of celebrity fairy dust.
According to the Caliente, this is the first time that a minted NFT artwork will come with a car title digitally included. It’s also one of the only Porsche art cars of this century, following Janis Joplin’s psychedelic 356 of the late ‘60s that Caliente describes as “amazing.”
The project, which is at the intersection of art, technology and automotive design, represents the culmination of Caliente’s career and also pays tribute to his Miami roots.
“The whole point of this project was to inspire, but also to formulate and represent where you’re from and who you are,” Caliente added. “So this is our little piece of the world that we live in.”
The artist says he briefly considered a Lamborghini Urus but opted for a 911 on account of its “iconic shape,” which he says enhances the artwork rather than compete with it. Caliente spent two days within arm’s reach of the Porsche to conceptualize the design before embarking on the two-week paint job.
The painstaking process involved taking everything off the car and applying his signature splatters and drips, which harken back to the work of Jackson Pollock. Think Tiffany-blue hues juxtaposed with splashes of bright yellow. Parts of the paint, like the orange above the taillights, also glow in the dark to emulate “oozing magma,” according to Caliente. The artist says that the whole design is symmetrical—so even though it’s thrown paint, everything looks purposeful.
The luxe interior, meanwhile, remains largely unchanged save for some custom leather mats, which are also emblazoned with both men’s signatures and Ross’s 2021 album title Richer Than I’ve Ever Been. Under the hood, the car retains its 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine that delivers up to 379 hp.
The idea to digitally embed the Porsche’s title inside of the NFT may well point to a future of smart contracts that become a standard part of high-end digital purchases. And, since the transaction is processed through the blockchain, it’s completely transparent and traceable. All parties can see exactly where the funds go.
The auction, which is running June 4 through 14, will be hosted by an NFT management consultancy co-founded by Caliente known as Slashdot. Bids will be accepted online in the cryptocurrency Ethereum, and a portion of proceeds from the sale will benefit the Irie Foundation. This organization is dedicated to empowering the lives of at-risk youth in South Florida through mentorship programs, cultural experiences, and scholarship opportunities.
Naturally, the multi-pronged artwork doesn’t come cheap. Bids will start at $305,911, with the first three numbers a reference to Miami’s area code and the last to Porsche’s beloved sports car. For those who want to see the multicolored creation IRL, the 911 will debut at the 2021 Bitcoin Conference in Miami from June 4 to 5.
Caliente is already planning follow-up artworks, too. The artist exclusively shared with Robb Report that he has another NFT and one-off luxury ride in the pipeline, along with a bespoke aircraft and matching digital art.
Best get your digital wallets ready, folks.
Check out more photos of the car below: