Ken Block and Hoonigan have teamed up with internationally acclaimed artist and designer It’s a Living (real name: Ricardo Gonzalez) to launch an all-new art package for Block’s race cars for 2021. This time, though, Block and Hoonigan are launching it in an unprecedented way: revealing the art in its purest form, before it’s applied to any of his race vehicles.
Block has a long history of creating some of the most unique and distinct liveries in motorsports, with artist collaborations ranging from Death Spray Custom, Felipe Pantone, Troy Lee, and more. He’s undoubtedly raised the bar in automotive livery design - and done it in a unique way: tying into his history with street wear and footwear design trends. This year, Block aims to set the bar even higher, with a different approach to the process - pure art first, application later - starting with It’s a Living’s hand painted design on canvas. Then adapting those designs to Hoonigan’s apparel for an initial limited edition launch, and revealing the race cars at a later date.
“I’m in a really unique position this year, being free to partner with different manufacturers for race cars, Gymkhana vehicles, trucks, etc. So, instead of launching the new livery art on just one of those vehicles, we are launching the graphics in a different and significant way”, said Block. “The graphics we launch every year are really important to me, so I'm absolutely stoked to partner up with It’s a Living for this particular project. I’ve been a big fan of his art for a while; his mix of calligraphy and graffiti-drip style, blended with gradients and some graphic art styling, just really works for me. So we’re showing it off in its purest form first - then adapting them to distinct vehicles I am using shortly after.”
The project kicks off with Gonzalez' art hand-painted on a large canvas, which then translates to three unique product drops. The first drop, which includes a limited run of 100 high-quality prints, signed by both Block and It’s A Living, will be exclusively offered through NTWRK’s online retail app April 8th at 5pm PT. The product pack also includes a limited run of t-shirts (in both long sleeve and short) and a hoodie, with only 140 pieces of each item produced.
Known for painting vibrant, building-sized typographical messages, Gonzalez’ style is a departure from the sharp, angular liveries Block has leaned toward in his previous liveries. “I'm really stoked to be working with Ken. He's really relaxed and detail oriented,” said Gonzalez. “I’ve never had my art adapted to a car. It's one of the most amazing parts of this process to see how lettering can be adapted to objects. Racing comes from a more rigid style of graphics and this (design) is more fluid. It will be interesting to see people’s reactions and to see the art in motion.”
When asked about a debut date for the race car, Block hinted that a series of announcements will come in the following weeks regarding new partnerships. “The announcements and livery reveals will come later, obviously… I’m a race car driver, after all.” said Block. “We’ve got some big partnerships to announce very soon - some of which may surprise you. It’s going to be a rad and wild year!”