Where art and Formula 1 meet: the Pirelli trophies by Alice Ronchi

At Imola’s Formula 1 Grand Prix this year, two seemingly distant worlds collided: art and motorsport. These became a winning combination thanks to Pirelli, which was title sponsor of the race. The showcase for these new works of art was the podium on Sunday, in which the race winners were rewarded with these social trophies created by the artist Alice Ronchi, who was commissioned by Pirelli and Pirelli HangarBicocca to make them. The full title of the race was the "Pirelli Grand Prix del Made in Italy e dell’Emilia Romagna", with Pirelli proud to highlight its Italian origins and culture.

Where art and Formula 1 meet: the Pirelli trophies by Alice Ronchi

Alice Ronchi, who lives and works in Milan, gained her BA at Milan’s Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (NABA) in 2012, and her MA at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam in 2015. Currently she is teaching at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (NABA) in Milan.

In her works, everyday objects meet the world of invention and fantasy. The search for wonder is a constant theme in her work, populated by familiar yet enigmatic figures, that are re-worked in an abstract way. Somewhere between playful and minimalist, her work can be defined as a perfect synthesis between simplicity of expression and complexity of forms and meanings.

These trophies were made by the Italian artist selected for this project thanks to her collaboration with Pirelli HangarBicocca: a non-profit foundation dedicated to the production and promotion of contemporary art, established in Milan in 2004 from a converted warehouse.

These innovative and symbolic trophies depict a lightning bolt and were made in the artist’s studio using aluminium, before being mirror-polished. The creative process included digital modelling of the eventual form, 3D 1:1 printing and wax casting in a foundry.

According to the artist herself, the trophy was inspired by the beauty of a 1950s racing car and the landscape of Imola. The artist chose to focus on history as well as what she identified as the prevalent theme of Formula 1: power. “I saw the lightning bolt as a symbol of power, speed, tension, and force,” said Ronchi. “And this goes right back to the principal icons that inspired this work: Zeus, the gods, and ancient Greece. Hopefully, this trophy delivers a new narrative aspect. Through my interpretation of the driving forces behind every grand prix, as well as the use of the lightning bolt and the reference to the myth of Zeus, I wanted to tell a story in the most expressive way possible.”

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