Jaguar XK by Kaves

4 Apr, 2012 10:59am Sam Hardy

New York graffiti legend puts his mark on a Jaguar XK at the New York Motor Show

This is what happens when you leave a Jaguar XK with one of New York's most legendary graffiti artists for a couple of days. 

Produced by Mr Kaves – otherwise known as Michael McLeer – this one-off Jaguar XK was spray-painted ahead of the New York Motor Show with the intention of being auctioned off for charity. 

The car was painted in just two days and features Kaves' unique artistic style, and even has a nod to XK designer, Ian Callum, on the bonnet. 

"I could have gone in a more abstract way but I wanted to work with the lines of the car," Kaves told Auto Express. "It's the first car I've ever done. Well, that's not strictly true...it's the first car I've ever done legitimately.

"I've done a lot of train cars and I wanted to treat it like a train car. Because it's a fast car, I didn't want to spend too long doing it. I wanted it to be a fast painting."

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Kaves made his name in the eighties, graffitiing the tunnels of New York's public transport system from the age of 10. 

When he was arrested in 1985, he decided to turn his talents to a more positive pursuit – designing logos and graphics for bands such as The Beastie Boys, and even forming his own hip-hop collective, Lordz of Brooklyn, in the mid-Nineties.    

These days Kaves produces his own art shows and works with companies such as Vans, Adidas and MTV.

XK designer Ian Callum was certainly impressed by Kaves' work. "I didn't know what to expect when I saw it, but I really like it," he said, before picking up a spray can and adding his signature to the rear bumper. "I could get used to this!" he joked.

Over at Pier 54 on the other side of town, Auto Express had the chance to sample the latest version of the Land Rover DC100 – a concept which previews the next Defender. Called the Expedition, it had a new white and orange paint scheme and Camel Trophy-style features including a winch, snorkel, roof rack (complete with shovel, ice pick and ramps), as well as a protective bull bar and new five-spoke black alloys. 

The new Defender is expected on sale in 2015.

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