Like many of his contemporaries, the award-winning Swiss artist Dante Rubli has sought to express his artistic talents in a number of different ways. Subsequently, the story of his life and the results of his work are both interesting and varied.
In 1984, having completed his apprenticeship as a panel-beater and sheet-metal worker, Dante entered the Swiss Master Craftsman Championship in his hometown of Bern. The competition involved constructing an object in sheet-metal from a plan, and Dante was voted the winner. Thereafter, he was invited to represent Switzerland at the World Championship in Osaka, Japan, where he finished a highly credible fifth. The participation in the two competitions proved to be a defining moment in his career, as he determined to pursue his talent for design and construction from this moment.
Dante travelled to America, where he worked in Los Angeles, and here he was involved in the rebuilding and renovation of luxury cars, such as Ferrari and Lamborghini, but would spend much of his free time making his own clothing and designing furniture. During this period he developed a greater understanding of all aspects of design and production, as well as honing his remarkable skills, before returning to Switzerland.
Design by Dante was formed in 1991, and the company was engaged in a variety of projects. Exhibition stands with complete display areas were built for several events, while restaurants, shops and offices were also designed and fitted. Dante produced trophies and works of art. In 1996 the company was commissioned to design and manufacture a trophy for the prestigious Swiss Master Chef Championship; Dante's innovative domestic products were featured on a regular basis in various German and Swiss interior design magazines, and a reputation for outstanding craftsmanship was established.
Part of the company's remit covered the restoration of classic cars, and in 1996 Dante was asked to design and build the world's fastest 'hatchback' for a noted German businessman. The result was the creation of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Shooting Brake, which is now on exhibition at the Lucerne Museum of Transport. This incredible piece of artistry led to a flood of enquiries for Dante's services, and the renovation of a number of classic and limited edition cars followed. Having undertaken work for an important American customer on one of the original aluminium bodied Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing sports cars, Dante conceived the idea of producing a sculpture of the iconic vehicle. Dante asked his friend, Claude Picasso, the son of Pablo Picasso, if he would allow him to borrow his father's original car so as to develop this idea. With the car at his disposal, as well as a copy of the original 1954 plan, Dante created two sculptures. These limited edition works of art were produced as both full scale, 1:1, and half scale, 1:2, interpretations of the car, and were finished in gold.
The two sculptures were premiered at the Top Marques Monaco 2009 exhibition, where a host of international celebrities, and H.S.H., Prince Albert II of Monaco, acclaimed Dante's work. Indeed, such was the success that for the 2010 Top Marques show, a new model was made as part of a series of sculptures depicting iconic sports cars. The Aston Martin DB5, which was made famous in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger, was produced as a quarter scale, 1:4, interpretation of the vehicle. The new sculpture was unveiled by the actor, Sir Roger Moore, a former incumbent in the role of secret agent James Bond, and the response from the media was overwhelming.
Such was the demand for the new artwork that Dante appeared as a guest in Cannes during the world famous film festival, and in London and Florence during other prestigious shows, and in Miami, where at the opening event for Art Basel Miami his sculptures stole the show.
With the series firmly established, the third vehicle was selected, and few would argue with the choice: the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO. The new sculpture, which will initially be shown as a 1:8 scale interpretation of car, will be unveiled by a famous Ferrari collector during the 2011 edition of the Top Marques show. Thus, the fusion of art and outstanding automotive design will continue to enthral a worldwide audience.
That same year after the show in Monaco, Dante was invited to Pebble Beach USA for the world famous Concurs d’Elegance. As a highlight of the US premiere, Dante was seen for 5 weeks on the Billboard Time Square sponsored by PR Newswire. Dante also met with television legend and vehicle collector Jay Leno.
In 2012 Dante was sponsored from the Islamic Bank to organize an exclusive show at the Emirates Palace, one of the most luxurious and unique hotels of the world, for its VIP customers. The show was a great success and Dante was highly praised.
Currently, Dante is preparing for a charity event in Burgdorf Switzerland. The event supports a workplace for handicapped people. Dante is teaming up with world famous Swiss artists Franz Gertsch and Markus Rätz to gain the required funds.