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Art & Design

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I was born on July 12, 1960, in Sermoneta, a charming medieval village in central Italy not far from Rome.

My story as a designer began at the age of 11 in 1971, when my father bought a white Fiat 128, an average family car. Even so, it lit a fire in me for the design of cars, which became my lifelong passion However, I dreamed of turning my passion into my profession.

To accomplish this I would need to attend a design school. However, 50 years ago there was no such thing as a school for automobile design! In the years before the Internet, one had to be ready to seize the rare opportunities that presented themselves. Automobile magazines often organized design competitions and I won a couple, the first in 1982 with Autosprint and the second in 1986 with Gente Motori with Ford Europe, and Ghia that earned me an internship at Ford/Ghia in Turin. I had my first big break!

​Soon after I landed my first job as an interior designer at Aviointeriors S.p.A. I worked there from 1983 to 1987 on projects for planes and trains and I learned how to become a professional designer. But I did not just want to be a designer, I wanted to be a car designer!

So it was that in May 1987 I visited Turin to do some interviews and show my portfolio. My first stop was at Pininfarina where I was warmly received by Lorenzo Ramaciotti, Enrico Fumia, Diego Ottina, and the great Aldo Brovarone. I would get to know Mr. Brovarone better the following September when I was doing an internship.

​My second stop while visiting Turin was at Stile Bertone. I personally met the legendary car designer Nuccio Bertone, who offered me a position starting in January 1988. I stayed for just one year because I realized that designing cars wasn't enough for me: I wanted to design for Ferrari!

My adventure began with Pininfarina in April 1989 and I am still employed there today. During these 34 years, I have experienced exciting moments as well as great frustration.

​Fortunately, I was lucky enough to experience the extraordinary 1990s and helped shape many Ferrari models that are now considered true masterpieces.

My first Ferrari project was the 1989 F116 (F456 GT) project, from which my interior proposal was chosen. The following year, 1990, was the year of the iconic F50.  The design process was unique because Ferrari selected different elements and parts, drawing from the proposals of the whole team. In the end, Mr. Ramaciotti, then Director of the Pininfarina Studi & Ricerche, built a unified proposal that featured a great deal of my work.

In 1992, Ferrari entrusted my team with a major restyling of the F348. From this exercise, Ferrari  selected my proposals for the front and the side, thus the F355 (Project F129) was born. In December of the same year, I began the first sketches to define what later became the F550 Maranello (F131A). Over the decades, I have consulted on numerous projects with a more recent contribution of the front end of the California in 2008.

Being a designer for Ferrari at Pininfarina during this extraordinary period was a genuine privilege. The team was inspired to create a new design language for the most famous car builder in the world. The projects were fascinating and challenging, and we were given the freedom and time to bring them to life.

Working at Pininfarina also allowed me to work on countless projects for many manufacturers, ranging from futuristic concept cars to everyday road vehicles. Whatever the design brief, it is a great pleasure to see my ideas transform into metal, fiberglass, and carbon fiber.

​In the early 2000s, the life of a designer was transforming. Gone were the days of paper and markers as the Digital Age began. New tools appeared for our work and drawings became pixels using powerful imaging tools like Photoshop. Even the entire design process changed radically thanks to the introduction of modeling programs such as Alias. While these advances added value to our work, we lost much of the artistry and skills of using our own hands.

For this precise reason, I returned to my roots and in my free time, I started to illustrate the wonderful cars of the past, utilizing techniques ranging from markers on paper to acrylics on canvas.

When I start with a blank paper or canvas, it is like accepting a new challenge. I become obsessed with capturing every nuance and detail. While my art is hyper-realistic, my hope with my technique is to bring out the soul and beauty of these timeless designs without

falling into cold photorealism.

The journey continues….

​Maurizio Corbi


renderings courtesy of Pininfarina SpA


originals/prints available

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