Sunday, September 9, 2012

Car Jam

Acrylic on gessoed hardboard, 16 x 12''
painting # 211, 2012

This painting has been on the back burner for more than three years. I had purchased these Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars at the time and already had a concept in mind, but there was one illusive item to complete the composition and play with words that I have yet to find to satisfy me visually. In the past year, I came across this magnificent mason jar and book which in turn created a different narrative from my original concept.

The featured book, THE CAR, A HISTORY OF THE AUTOMOBILE was written by British-born Jonathan Glancey, whom until this past February was architecture and design editor for The Guardian. He previously held the same position at The Independent and is currently a freelance editor. He has recently written several reviews for The Telegraph, including one about the recent opening to The ArcelorMitta Orbit at London's Olympic Park by artist Anish Kapoor and structural designer Cecil Balmond. He has also written several books surveying the history of architecture, planes, trains and automobiles. This edition was published in 2010 by SevenOaks. The cover features a 1945 ZIS 110 Limousine, while the bottom is a Ferrari Enzo. I slightly played with the depth of field and keep the back imagery just slightly out of focus thus eliminating the very fine details so that the main details would focus on the jar and it's content. 

The jar includes the following models from Matchbox- a 1957 GMC Pick-up truck, a 2008 Chevy Corvette ZR1, and a 2005 Dodge Magnum. To complete the quintet, two Hot Wheels muscle cars: a 1970 Chevelle SS and a 1971 Dodge Charger. 

This painting is very much as the bold letter on the mason jar suggests, about the preservation and restoration of automobiles. There is great interest in vintage and classic cars. Here in Moncton, the city hosts the Atlantic Nationals,  a car show held over 3 days in July where the public comes out in droves. It's an eye-candy love fest for car lovers of all ages. I recently spoke to the wife of the chap to whom I had sold my first car, a 1971 Chevy Mailbu. I sold it for $200, the same price I paid for it back in 1981. My father had helped me acquire the vehicle for a summer job when I was 19 years old and only kept if for 6 month. It was on it's last miles when I sold it.....until he completely restored and transformed it into a veritable muscle car. She told me that it had been parked in their backyard in recent years, but it was still his baby and that he fully intended to refurbish it before long.

This painting was exhibited in: 

Saint John Arts Centre
City of Saint John Gallery
20 Hazen Avenue
Saint John, NB CANADA
(506) 633-4870

September 7 - October 27, 2012