Timothy Moore
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Verlato’s Fiat 500L Italian Masterpiece Is Modern-Day Sistine Chapel

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This year’s Los Angeles Auto Show is going to be a smidge more colorful than years past, and no, this time it’s not the rainbow-hungry Chevrolet Spark aiming to steal the spotlight. Instead, FIAT Brand North America’s Fiat 500L will be transformed by famous Italian artist, Nicola Verlato, into the Fiat 500L Italian Masterpiece, an apparent homage to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.

Fiat 500L Italian Masterpiece

A red 2014 Fiat 500L will become Verlato’s Fiat 500L Italian Masterpiece.

The ceiling of the feisty 500L will play host to Verlato’s designs, which will be painted over a five day period. Verlato is scheduled to begin work on the Fiat 500L Italian Masterpiece tomorrow, November 20th, as the L.A. Auto Show opens to the press. He will paint everyday through November 25th, positioned right smack dab in the middle of the showroom floor. After he finishes on the 25th, the 500L will remain on display through the end of the show, which draws to a close on December 1st.

“The FIAT brand is about immersing oneself in Italian style, design and culture,” commented Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, Chrysler Group LLC and Head of FIAT Brand Worldwide. “We wanted to play with this concept by taking one of the most far-reaching pieces of old world art and combining it with the iconic new design of the Fiat 500L.”

Fiat 500L Italian Masterpiece

The typical ceiling of the Fiat 500L was removed and replaced with a special fiberglass ceiling.

So how will the feat be done? Very carefully. The red Fiat 500L was specifically designed for this purpose; as such, a special fiberglass ceiling was installed and specially coated to absorb Verlato’s paint. FIAT also had to remove the seats and—get this—created a special floor just so that the artist could more easily move around on his back while painting. Where was FIAT when Michelangelo needed ‘em, eh?

Not able to make it to L.A. to see the work of art unfold? Never fear: FIAT will be displaying Verlato’s progress each day at http://www.fiatusa.com/en/social/ starting on the 21st of November. A time-lapsed video will demonstrate the work he does on the Fiat 500L Italian Masterpiece every day.

And if you’re wondering who the heck Nicola Verlato is, you’re probably not keen on the art scene. (Fair assumption, right?) Verlato is actually very renowned for his work all around the world. At just fifteen years of age, he had his first show in Italy. After studying at the University of Venice, he gained fame in Milan, then New York and Los Angeles, and his works are featured in museums across the globe.

And now, he’s painting the ceiling of a Fiat 500L. A success story if I ever heard one.

Keep checking in for updates on the Fiat 500L Italian Masterpiece during the course of the L.A. Auto Show throughout the rest of November!