Turkish artist Esref Armagan is officially the very first non-employee to experience the new Volvo S60, which will be kept under wraps until its launch in 2010. Armagan, a blind artist, is renowned throughout the world for his unique feel for perspective and shape, which is why he was invited to paint his rendition of the stunning, but still-secret, Volvo S60.
The new Volvo S60 brings a whole new level of sculpture to the Volvo range, and Esref Armagan was the perfect artist to capture the car's bold design. Esref Armagan uses his hands and the rest of his senses to identify the shape of the object he is painting. He has participated in a number of scientific research projects. For instance, TV channel Discovery produced a fascinating documentary in which Professor John Kennedy of Toronto University demonstrates Esref's ability to capture the right perspective. It defies everything that science previously believed about blind people and their perceptive abilities. Esref Armagan has painted everything from historic buildings, seascapes, flowers and forests to a portrait of former US President Bill Clinton.
The challenge was to start creating interest in a product that will only be launched next year. That was the challenge given to Lukas Dohle, director of Live Communication and Social Media, and his team at Volvo Cars in Göteborg, Sweden.
The team came up with the idea of inviting renowned Turkish artist Esref Armagan to Sweden and to let him experience the new Volvo S60 and paint a picture of it. The film documenting Armagan's preview of the new Volvo S60 is available on Volvo Car's own website on Facebook: www.facebook.com/volvo. It is also available on YouTube
"Since the car itself is not being launched until the Geneva Motor Show next year, this is a unique way for us to show an extraordinary artist's rendition of the forthcoming model," says Lukas Dohle.
This is also the first time that Armagan will be putting a car on canvas. "It was an honour for me to be asked to do this and I take it as a confirmation of my ability as an artist," says Esref Armagan.
"I'm proud of the new Volvo S60. It has a much more dynamic and sculpted form than any previous Volvo - it's a very emotive form. That's why this feels like such an exciting project - introducing our forthcoming model to someone as unusual as a blind artist," says Peter Horbury, design director at Volvo Cars.
On October 19, the first trailer was made available to 400 blogs globally, offering tantalizing glimpses of the car, and enthusiasts can also ask Esref Armagan to draw specific details of the car.
Today on October 26, the full-length film was made available on Facebook. "It's an amazing experience to work together with Esref Armagan, because he truly embraces life and lives it to the full despite his handicap. It's an approach that exactly matches how we at Volvo embrace life," says Lukas Dohle.
The new Volvo S60 is due to be launched locally during the last quarter of 2010.