Cesar Pieri, Creative Design Manager at Jaguar Advanced Design Studio, sees each new design as a blank canvas. After completing his undergraduate work in Sao Paolo, he sat for a Masters in Transportation Design at the Polytechnic de Milano. Stints with other car manufacturers would follow, but these days, Pieri is honing his art and his craft at Jaguar. His concept for the Jaguar 7 — undertaken as a pet project, but adopted by the company as a strictly limited production car — effectively announced his arrival to the automotive world. The F-Type Project 7 combined elements of the classic 1954 Jaguar D-Type with the modern Jaguar F-Type in a unique fusion that was a feast for the senses and a thrill to drive.
The art didn’t stop there. In recent years, the designer has taken up painting, first on discarded Jaguar hoods (somewhat to his wife’s dismay), and then on canvas. Unsurprisingly for a designer whose work refreshes classic designs and principles, his paintings contain elements of what’s gone before: a bit of Pollock, a little Warhol, a hint of Lichtenstein, and a dash of Rauschenberg, all filtered through a thoroughly postmodern sensibility. The paintings have been a hit; what was originally intended as a gift for a departing coworker has blossomed into a body of work that’s attracted collectors from the US, the UK and Japan.
In some ways, Pieri’s design is reminiscent of the iconic work of industrial designer Raymond Loewy, whose fluid and graceful Art Deco-inspired designs reminded all who saw them that form didn’t have to slavishly follow function. Like Loewy, Pieri’s work — especially for Jaguar — evolves automotive design beyond the merely functional to a thing of beauty. Perhaps his most striking departure, however, has been a willingness to leave behind the traditional Jaguar esthetic for something that nods subtly to Jaguar’s past while boldly re-imagining what the company’s designs could be in the future.
Pieri displayed some of his paintings at the Coventry Motofest in May, 2015. He is currently raising funds via Kickstarter for a major exhibition of his artworks in his native Brazil. If you’d like to see a different kind of artwork, come to the showroom at Jaguar of Peabody and behold the distinctive works of art that bear the Jaguar marque. They may not be rendered in acrylics or oil paint, but on the other hand, they’re much easier than canvas to take for a ride.