An artist's

Interview with Joseph Klibansky, internationally renowned Dutch artist, creator of a unique Panigale V4 S.

In Joseph Klibansky's studio, in addition to the foundry where his famous bronze statues are produced, there is an exhibition space featuring the paintings and sculptures of this young but already acclaimed artist. In the centre, a 15-foot mega-sculpture depicts an astronaut holding up a golden cross. It's called "Leap of Faith," and it's one of the South African artist's most impressive works. Today another one is added. In fact, in his latest project, Joseph has collaborated with Ducati to create an artist's Panigale V4 S, the Ducati X Klibansky Art Bike.

Motorsports, and particularly bikes, are one of your biggest passions. What does it mean to put your name to a Ducati Panigale V4 S?

I have been a petrolhead for as long as I can remember, and Ducati has always been the best of the best. You know, many people ride a bike, but when a Ducati passes by, you notice it’s something different. It’s moving art. And you take a moment to appreciate it. When I first saw the V4 S, it looked like a work of art. And I am a very visually minded person, so the design of an object is what strikes me the most. I remember thinking “it looks fast even when standing still”. You can put it anywhere and it will fill up the room, just like a sculpture.

What were the sources of inspiration for this work of yours?

As soon as I saw the bike, I knew what I wanted to do art-wise. It was just a matter of bringing my artistic vision into it.

Contemporary Sculpture

Which elements of the original Panigale V4 S did you want to retain? And which did you want to transform?

My favourite part of the bike would probably be the front wings. They are so cool; they remind me of Batman. I immediately knew I wanted to keep them as they are.

“The wings are so cool; they remind me of Batman.”

As for the rest, I gave myself the freedom to experiment. When we got the bike, we stripped it down to its bare minimum, keeping only the frame and the engine. We turned it into a blank canvas on which we could work. Then, we dressed it with special carbon fibre parts, an open clutch and custom-made satin gold wheels. And to finish it off, we created an Alcantara saddle with a diamond pattern, embroidered with my name and bear logo (from "Bare Hug", one of his most famous works)

What guided you in terms of the colour combinations?

I really thought hard about the colour scheme. I wanted to find a combination that would ensure the bike looks mean and cool, without sacrificing its elegance. For the fairings I chose “Nardo grey”, a special colour that I saw on my friend’s limited-edition Bentley. And then I chose a fluorescent green finish for the brake callipers, outer front wings, and Ducati logo. I wanted to give the bike an electric pop and also highlight its sexiness.

Painted fairings

What do the painted fairings tell us?

The painting style I chose for the fairings is what I call “Thought Painting”. It’s an approach whereby I collect and portray screenshots of my thoughts over different periods of time. In it, you can see all sorts of different elements of life - the ups and downs, love, chemical connections. Everything we go through in life. Importantly, I really wanted the drawings to be painted onto the livery, as if it were a canvas. So, all the sketches have been air brushed on the bike by hand. The paint job alone took six months, but the result is totally worth it.

Many of your works involve placing well-known figures and characters in surprising situations. Is there a particular location where you would like to see this Ducati?

Right now, the bike is exhibited in my studio gallery in Amsterdam. It blends in perfectly with all the other pieces and grabs the attention of anyone who approaches. But in the future, I would like to put it somewhere everybody can see it and interact with it. I believe art is about sharing emotions and inspiring people. So, if I had to pick a place, I would say the Dubai mall, which welcomes 7 million visitors per month. That’s a lot of people. And if there is even one person among these 7 million who feels inspired when looking at it, then the art will have done its job.  

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