Culture / Cars

Renowned Photographer Gray Malin & Alto Team Up For the Ultimate Arty Rideshare — Cruising Around In a True Art Car

Coastal Cars Are Hitting the Streets

BY // 05.25.23

Renowned photographer Gray Malin first came on my radar last summer when he hosted at swank midday fête at a popular waterfront haunt in Nantucket. His cameras were rolling and shutters clicking as a trés chic throng of the young and beautiful shared air kisses and champagne toasts.

Just the other night Gray Malin and I jaunted over to Bari Ristorante, the new River Oaks District hotspot populated by a similar clutch of jeunesse dorée. Actually, the photographer, most noted for his beachy and aerial photos, wasn’t in the car with me but his work was on the car. The sleek Ride Alto vehicle that picked us up at home and stylishly delivered us to Bari was wrapped in an iconic image from the photographer’s just-published coffee table book titled Coastal, a copy of which rested in the backseat pocket.

Ride Alto's partnership with photographer Gray Malin includes a preview of his just-published coffee table book 'Coastal.'
Ride Alto’s partnership with photographer Gray Malin includes a preview of his just-published coffee table book ‘Coastal.’

Now through July, riders might experience the surprise of being picked up in one of Alto’s Coastal cars as they cruise the streets of Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Washington D.C.

While we tooled down Houston’s Memorial Drive, sexy jazz tunes playing on the radio and we perused the beautiful photos of coastal scenes from Marblehead, Massachusetts to Palm Beach and Maui. Had we needed, we could have charged our smartphones and laptops and hopped on the in-vehicle Wi-Fi.

The Gray Malin car was just the latest in a series of art cars, more than 23, that Ride Alto has launched since its founding. Some have been collaborations with local artists, some with local brands, and some with nonprofits where a portion of proceeds have gone to the partner organization.

Shafik Rifaat & Shelby Hodge catch a lift to a weeknight party in Alto's Gray Malin art car.
Shafik Rifaat & Shelby Hodge catch a lift to a weeknight party in Alto’s Gray Malin art car.

“Alto is proud to create unique experiences for our riders,” Morgan Miller, Alto’s head of partnerships, tells PaperCity. “Our Coastal collaboration with Gray Malin is the latest example of innovation and creativity at Alto, intended to surprise and delight our riders, and offer a remarkable ride experience.”

Houstonians might recall having seen the Alto Buick Enclaves wrapped in colorful coverings from Houston artist Shelbi Nicole or the “I Am Busy” or the “Cowgirl” art cars. Who knows what the next collaboration will be? But it’s sure to be colorful and artistic addition to the ultimate rideshare experience.

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