About the artist
Professional automotive fine artist Nicolas Hunziker comes by his work honestly: He derives his eye for detail from his great-grandfather and grandfather who were both classically trained painters. His father, a professional flautist, now devotes much of his time to his paintings and his collages. This makes Nicolas Hunziker the 4th generation to pick up the family trade.
It also doesn’t hurt that his granduncle was the motor racing Prince Bira of Siam, so Hunziker is no stranger to the history, adrenaline and petrol fumes of the sport. He trained at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design and he believes in keeping his work simple. He incorporates many elements of Art Deco advertising posters into his paintings and he calls his style “Period Correct.”
Hunziker can create any piece on commission, and no piece is too small or big, a fact attested to by the 50-ft murals he has created for various patrons. His focus lies in vintage racing and his original acrylic on canvas paintings have been reprinted on everything from Porsche espresso cups, greeting cards, T-shirts, shoes and limited-edition signed prints to mouse pads and phone covers.
Formula 1 World Champion, Kimi Räikkönen featured a Hunziker painting on his racing helmet during the Monaco Grand Prix. His artwork has also been blessed by Porsche AG which makes his creations officially licensed and the Porsche Museum purchased one of his original paintings to be displayed in their museum in Stuttgart. Porsche Cars North America commissioned Hunziker to create a 22ft. wide painting which now graces their headquarters’ entrance lobby at the Porsche Experience Center Atlanta.
Hunziker’s paintings and prints have also been given the official stamp of approval from the ACO/24h Le Mans. Gulf Oil L.P. have awarded Hunziker with an official licensing agreement and commissioned a series of Blue and Orange paintings that embody the Gulf Racing spirit in all its colorful glory. To accompany the release of the RUSH movie about James Hunt, the Hunt family approached Hunziker to paint a series of original paintings depicting the late F1 World Champion - which served as the inspiration behind the James Hunt Collection by Hunziker.
To celebrate their 50th Anniversary, McLaren commissioned Hunziker to create eleven original acrylic on canvas paintings. Each painting featured one of the most iconic and important racing cars from McLaren’s illustrious history.
Porsche Design commissioned Hunziker to create and design their Steve McQueen Collection by Porsche Driver’s Selection. This collection highlighted a number of original Hunziker paintings starring Steve McQueen.
At the behest of his wife and partner, Heather Norwood, Hunziker and Norwood formed Hunziker Design to produce an apparel and accessories collection with the goal to create wearable art and to provide motor racing enthusiasts with an exciting new way to express themselves.
Hunziker Design has created officially licensed merchandise for the likes of Steve McQueen, McQueen Racing, McLaren, Porsche Club of America, Gulf Oil and numerous other historic motorsports brands. In 2016, Hunziker Design became an official apparel supplier to Laguna Seca Raceway and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
HSR (Historic Sportscar Racing) turned to Hunziker for artwork and event apparel for their marque events such as the Classic 24h Daytona and Classic 12h Sebring races.
Hunziker teamed up with French watch company BRM Chronographes. Together they created the Hunziker BRM Art Watch: The World’s first automotive fine art choronograph. A series of commissioned one-off, hand-painted dials that are encompassed in custom BRM cases. Hunziker was also tapped to design the official Brumos Racing Chronograph which featured the iconic red and blue livery of America’s Porsche racing team.
Nicolas Hunziker is a licensed racer in his own right and he is following in his granduncle’s footsteps with his single-seater 1968 Lotus 51 race car, an enterprise which he describes as: “An attempt at honoring Bira’s legacy in the fastest way possible.”
Text courtesy of Stefan Lombard for Sports Car Market Magazine. Photos by Daniel Peacock and Heather Norwood.