Customized Cars, Cadillacs, Dodge Pioneer belong to Paul Vanzella's car collection. His wife Lisa models in his photographs. So what is their formula for success and their end goal?
Apart from having a boutique design studio specialising in quality design, personalised and creative service, Paul is a photographer, featuring Lisa as his main model to enhance the sheer beauty and scale of automotive art and photography.
Paul where did your passion for custom cars come from?
I guess my interest in cars started at a young age. However, before cars, I was so interested in planes from the 40's, 50's and 60's. I loved the shapes of the cockpit and the fuselage, the aerodynamic proportions where function actually followed form. This led me automatically to cars of the 50's. I would leaf through books, magazines and that filled my desire and passion even more. I thought I would never have a spectacular 50's or 60's car but I wanted to own just something like it..... anything from that era would be amazing! To cut a long story short, after a few knocked around cars, I pursued my passion to where it is today. Lucky enough to own three classic American cars. A 1957 Cadillac Coupe DeVille, a 1960's Pontiac Catalina and my favourite, the 1960's Dogde Pioneer, fully customized and complete with three 1/4 inch roof chop.
To me these cars symbolise pure design, the aerodynamic shapes, dashboard treatment, all unique to their own models. There is so much DESIGN in each car. From the triple grooves in the Pontiac indicator, to the clean lines of shaved door handles on the Dodge and Cadillac.
Although I loved original cars from the 50's and 60's, I am becoming more and more interested in custom cars from the same era. Custom cars offer more individuality and unique qualities which the owner can implement and make their own. By simply replacing the original grill and lowering the entire car via airbag suspension, you come up with an even more space age looking car. Now that excites me very much!
I want to step out of the car and see it, almost cartoon like. Almost like an artists' sculpture. The fact that it's an automobile and you can actually drive it as well, is an additional facet of the car.
My ideal way of living would be to have at least one of the cars as a permanent feature in my lounge room. As one would place a piece of furniture or a vase in a room. As simple as that. These cars are pure aesthetics, so why not use them in such a manner?
I also want to have one in my office with my desk just to the side of it. Like the old car salesmen of the 50's. So that I can sit on my Mac in my graphic design studio while being totally inspired by a massive drivable sculpture all day long. Can you imagine working like that?
What Paul and Lisa say about their automotive custom car collection
We just love their style, right down to the dash and instrumentation. They are mobile pieces of sculptures on wheels and the best thing is, you can actually drive them! We love the sound of the engine, their scale and the weight of the car. Every car is different and that's why you become a collector because you just want to feel that new sensation.
Paul explains 'I think what I do with my photography is that I like to embody my imagination and my reality together and use what I have around me, such as my cars. The main feature is the car. They are a key feature but they act as a helmet like a piece of sculpture would. I feature Lisa in the art as well.
Lisa, how do you feel about modelling in Pauls' photographs?
I feel it's actually not me. It's very much a character role that I play. I like to articulate idea's fast and I work very quickly. I push Paul a lot.
Owner of Vanzella Graphic Design and co-founder of online art website: RedBubble.com. Paul studied at Monash University BA in Design Communication.
Lisa has enjoyed a diverse and progressive career. Apart from her completion of the Fashion and Design Bachelor of Arts Degree RMIT, Lisa has gone on to gain extensive experience in many areas including brand management. Lisa continues to Consult, Project Management, teach and specialize in Styling and Art Direction with spectacular results.
Paul, what is your inspiration?
Everything. From when I was growing up, small postcards, movies, interior design, popular culture, trying to develop a way of thinking. I want to create a unique voice with my pieces. It takes time to create a way of thinking because you mature, you gather information and you have experiences. Then you compliment that altogether. I find myself right now at a very high creative point utilizing everything I've been through, I've seen and have collected.
Lisa says 'for me I am always inspired by surroundings and scenery and the ambiance and feeling you get from different spaces, whether they are glamorous or not, fashion, films or cars.
And their goals?
Marketing specialism; continuing to contract for various high end niche brands, blogging and extending our reach with a view to taking on the world.