Thursday, October 05, 2006

On Aesthetics: Highway to Heaven

There is an angular volume to the styling of some of the new sedans that I find quite curious. They're bulk has an impenetrable presence, a cold formalism that is harder than the stately elegance of the sedans of the past.

They don't address you with the same "Putting on the Ritz" showiness of a Lincoln Town Car. They have a menace, like a rapper posturing in a video, a hard glare that sizes you down.

These cars would not stop and apologize if they struck you and no one is going to roll down a window and beg your pardon for some Grey Poupon.

I suspect that this is in part the styling of SUVs spilling over and influencing models in other categories.

There is something more though. The styling scratches at a point of reference that took me a while to put my finger on. The wide planar bevels along the lines of the body, the blunted, box-like rear ends and the high-gloss look of the finish come together and remind me of... modern aluminum funeral caskets. The angular lozenge form is that of a coffin. Maybe a more appropriate term, one that captures the cold, deathly quality, is sarcophagus.

1 comment:

NY'erguy said...


Just checking in. Great stuff as usual. Just thought as a side note that I would identify the second photograph of the 300C.

Back in DEEETROIT art school...they called that kind of car photo perspective, "American Violence". Heaps of motion, surprise, (not much description)...all attitude.