Color explosion: the Sprinter as a piece of art

For the 20th anniversary of the Sprinter, the British artist Ian Cook created a series of 36 unique artworks.

An image as a racetrack

Ian Cook drives a remotely controlled car, that he has covered in paint, over a piece of paper. At first glance what he is doing seems completely random to the inexperienced eye. The car continues with its curves and slowly an image emerges: it is a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. For the 20th anniversary of the award-winning van, Mercedes-Benz commissioned the British artist to create 36 pictures. Many customers rely on the Sprinter's reliability, using large numbers of the vehicle in their fleets. Like Northgate Vehicle Hire, for example. The vehicle leasing service sales up to 3,000 Mercedes-Benz vans every year. Every one of these artworks created by Ian Cook for Mercedes-Benz immortalizes a Sprinter from one of these major customers. The pictures will be sent to the customers as a special thank you.

PopbangColour – out of the love of cars and art

Ian Cook calls his works "Friendly color explosions". He not only uses remote-controlled cars but also car tires and tires from toy cars to apply the layers of ink, acrylic paint and water paint. These give the images unique pattern and structure.He calls this way of painting PopbangColour. An ex-girlfriend inspired him with the idea. She gave him a remotely controlled car for Christmas. She asked him not to take it into the studio and get it covered in paint. For the British car enthusiast with a degree in art that was an enlightening moment: "Why not?", he thought to himself and began to experiment. Since then, Ian Cook has travelled all over the world with a suitcase full of toy cars splattered with paint.

Ian Cook kneels on one of his unfinished works.

"Homage to a remarkable vehicle"

It is not the first time that Ian Cook has worked for Mercedes-Benz. A 12 x 8 meter portrait of the Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton's AMG PETRONAS once hung next to the famous London Tower Bridge. Ian Cook is also a performance artist: Some of the 36 pictures of the Sprinter were created at the Mercedes-Benz headquarters in Milton Keynes, giving employees the chance to experience how he works. One unique challenge of this job was to depict the customer's vehicles as precisely as possible. "But I think I succeeded", says the artist. "My works are a fitting homage to a remarkable vehicle."

PopbangColour creates a striking level of structure in the painting.

Half-finished but already clearly identifiable as a Sprinter.

Ian Cook also painted the Sprinter flatbed.

Maximum effort: when painting, Ian Cook does not care if he gets himself covered in paint.

Work in progress: the Sprinter is created with the help of toy cars.

Cars and more cars: Ian Cook’s rolling painting tools.

Ian Cook compares his work with photos of the Sprinter to achieve the perfect detail.

Fully focused on his work: Ian Cook.

PopbangColour Studio
Coventry | England

Photos: Daimler Media


Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
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