Vintage Airplane Furniture
MotoArt: Celebrating Aviation with Sleek, Modern Design
“MotoArt designs and creates high quality corporate and home furniture made from vintage airplane parts. Stationed in El Segundo, CA with clients all over the world, their functional sculptures create an eclectic environment in any space and stand in tribute to the great art of aviation.”
For most of us, the thrill of flight starts with the trademark whine of a jet engine and ends with the chirping tires and slight but satisfying shudder of a smooth landing at our destination. For Donovan Fell and Dave Hall, though, that same thrill begged to be extended into everyday life, and they have found a unique solution. By turning decommissioned airplanes into elaborate fuselage coffee tables and F-4 Phantom Fighter Jet ejection seats into office chairs for high-profile executives, they have created something truly extraordinary.
Co-owners of MotoArt, the two friends started their business from the inside of a small garage, rescuing and restoring vintage airplane propellers. When the nine-foot-tall propellers were received with wide-eyed enthusiasm at a classic auto auction, though, the men realized they had found their market. Fell and Hall were hooked. Vintage airframes and raw parts scattered about their California MotoArt workshop are pure inspiration for the artists. They thrive on bringing these pieces back to life and, consequently, preserving some incredible pieces of history.
What’s fantastic about these pieces of functional art is that each piece is unique. Every piece of aviation furniture tells a story… one B-25 desk, specifically, even retains the bullet holes of yesteryear, leaving the details of its dangerous journey only to the imagination. The company puts some 120 work hours into each desk, transforming the grimy, raw parts into one-of-a-kind furniture suitable for distinguished clients like 19 Entertainment (who produces “American Idol”) and, believe it or not, Boeing itself.
The Vietnam and Korean War-era Fairchild C-119 rudder, stripped of its cloth cover and outfitted with a glass top, makes for a handsome executive desk, and the Wingman reception desk finishes the image of classic aviation with polished aluminum curves and custom accents. The PW-747 Cowling bar is better suited for after-dinner conversation with guests, and there are few better ways to appease their taste for extraordinary art and modern design. Prices vary between pieces since many of the pieces are made on a per-request basis, but that insures both quality and a custom fit for every client.
MotoArt estimates that about eighty percent of their clients are men, and it’s easy to see why: their workshop and showroom looks like the bachelor pad of any airplane enthusiast’s dreams. The metal is coated in a number of sleek finishes, and retro-inspired vinyl and leather seating abounds. If you’re truly committed to eating, sleeping, and breathing aviation, there are even a few beds in which to revisit your dreams of flying.
Anyone with an eye for all things aeronautics could appreciate the unique design of these creations, and it is clear that Hall and Fell’s brainchild has raised more than a few eyebrows; the meeting of such design and functionality in this company is impossible to ignore. While the co-owners of MotoArt take tremendous pride in their work, they don’t claim responsibility for any subsequent diversion in your guests’ attention. It’s hard not to be captivated by a coffee table made from a 1930′s Continental Radial Engine.
The attention to detail paid by this company simply is astounding. Because they are able to customize nearly every facet of each piece of art, from size and finish straight down to configuring the windows of a fuselage conference table for iPads, no detail is left unfinished. International showrooms house some of their most impressive artwork, and high-profile buyers all over the world are showing more and more interest in this artistic endeavor. It’s not difficult to imagine why MotoArt has achieved such early success, and it is surely only a matter of time before their continued success makes them an icon in both aviation and design.