Cromax experts in Belgium and Dubai painted characters in the Belgian Pavilion roof terrace centrepiece artwork in dazzling gold

14 January 2022  – Cromax® has provided gold-coloured coatings and its worldwide refinish expertise to a spectacular-looking sculpture, Gyratom, for the Belgian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, which runs from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 due to being postponed due to the pandemic.

Belgian artist Alessandro Tardioli is famous for his artwork based on popular culture and the way in which his work celebrates the symbiosis that exists between Art and the discipline of Science and Technology. He took inspiration from the Gyronef, the experimental helicopter from the iconic Spike & Suzy comic book series, to create Gyratom. Cromax technical specialists in Belgium and Dubai worked closely together to ensure that the helicopter’s four passengers – the comic’s two protagonists and Aunt Sidonia and Professor Barabas – were coated in a stand-out gold colour for maximum effect.

Tardioli says, “Gyratom combines mobility and sustainability, which are two of the themes of Expo 2020 Dubai. I used recycled panels from Atomium, the eye-catching artwork from the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, to create a direct link between our nostalgic past and a sustainable future. I chose Cromax because the brand’s ethos is about increasing productivity and saving time, which aligns perfectly with the Expo’s sustainability theme. The results are completely brilliant and eye-catching. The four passengers’ gold hue highlights their elegantly-designed shapes and their individual expressions, which was a vital criterion as visitors can get up close to Gyratom, as it sits centre stage on the roof terrace of the Belgian Pavilion.”

Tardioli collaborated with Eduardo Murillo, Senior Service Technician based at the Axalta Refinish Academy in Mechelen, Belgium, who was responsible for the preparation and main application. Simon Nemanic, Technical Leader for Axalta Refinish in the Middle East and North Africa, based in Dubai, was responsible for the finishing touches once the work had made its journey to Dubai and was in situ at the Expo.

“Working with the Cromax teams in Belgium and Dubai has been a dream. Their experience and passion shone through as bright as the gold colour itself when guiding me through the whole process. I was particularly impressed with their close collaboration throughout the project, which was so important to ensure the four passengers looked immaculately golden ahead of the official opening of the Expo on 1 October,” adds Tardioli.

They were prepared with Cromax NS2607 Non-Sanding Primer-Surfacer in black (ValueShade 7), which is ideal for making the gold basecoat pop. To give the characters their eye-catching gold appearance, the Cromax team used AM78 Centari® Mastertint® Aluminium Gold. They were given the finishing touches with Cromax CC6400 Standard VOC Clear in satin gloss, mixed with 50 percent Cromax AU175 Flattening Binder for a velvety-gold satin effect.

Tony Mitchell, International Training Leader for Axalta’s Refinish business in Europe, Middle East and Africa, says, “This was an exciting project for us and something a little different. I know Eduardo was pleased to help bring characters from the Spike and Suzy comics, who are a key part of Belgian cultural heritage, to the world stage. And thanks to our global reach, our international Cromax team came together with their expertise and our innovative products to ensure that Belgium, and Cromax, has been represented in the best possible way.” 

World Expo first took place in 1851 in the iconic Crystal Palace in London, England, and has since then provided a platform to showcase key innovations and achievements of nations that shape the world today.

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About Cromax

Cromax, a global refinish coating brand from Axalta, is designed to increase productivity. Our coatings are formulated specifically to optimise business with advanced time-, energy- and material-saving processes that increase throughput and lower operating costs. Our value-added solutions provide customers with the most advanced systems to get the best out of the entire workflow. And our smart tools, our people’s in-depth knowledge and our strong approved networks all make our bodyshop customers more attractive to work providers. Cromax - drive your productivity.