Monday, August 24, 2015

A Car on The Cars

Acrylic on gessoed birch panel, 12 x 12"
painting # 229, 2015

During my teens and until my mid twenties, a great deal of the music I purchased was on vinyl. Not only was the sound very distinct, but you had the added bonus of holding the album jacket and liner notes/lyrics while listening to your record. Over the years, the artwork produced on many album covers contributed greatly to popular culture. A marketing tool that added to the enjoyment, sales and by themselves became a desirable items to collect.   

In 1984, new wave / pop-rock band “The Cars” released a multi-platinum studio album entitled ''Heartbeat City''. Peter Phillips' painting, “Art-O-Matic Loop Di Loop” (1972) appeared on the album jacket. It’s one of those classic 1980’s album that kind of defined by early adulthood in many ways, since I was but 22 at the time.

Before I even started to paint and my real interest in art would begin, it is undeniable that the exposure to this form of art would contribute and influence my artwork. In recent years I have completed several paintings in the same 12 x 12'' format. 

The original acrylic painting on canvas, ''Art-O-Matic Loop Di Loop'' is mural format, measuring a massive 200 x 400 cm or approximately 6½ ft high by 13 ft long. At the time the record came out was owned by Galerie Neuendorf in Hamburg, Germany.  It features a pin-up girl, automotive parts, light beams, circles, stars and a 1971 Plymouth Duster 340. The concept for my own painting happened by chance when I found an exact Johnny Lightning die-cast car in yellow on eBay. I've added the mason jar since it's purpose is to preserve stuff.

English artist Peter Phillips (b. 1939) is considered one of the fathers of the Pop Art Movement and after a temporary move to New York City exhibited alongside is American contemporaries Andy WarholRoy Lichtenstein and James Rosenquist. He has had several retrospective of his work including the Tate Gallery in London which owns several of his works. 

''Heartbeat City'' was produced by Robert ''Mutt'' Lange (Def Leppard, Shania Twain, AC/DC, Bryan Adams) and The Cars. Six singles would receive radio airplay, including four top 10 hits, ''Hello Again'', ''You Might Think'', ''Drive'' and ''Magic''. Actor Timothy Hutton directed the video for ''Drive'' sung by Benjamin Orr. It was during the filming of that video that frontman Ric Ocasek met his future wife, supermodel Paulina Porizkova (whom I had a massive crush on). To add more Pop Art flavour to the album, Andy Warhol directed the très cheezy video for "Hello Again". The album was certified 4x platinum in the US alone. Click on the below image to view the video.     

Painting to be exhibited in 
''The Still Life'' Invitational Group Show at the Elliott Fouts Gallery, in Sacramento, CA.
 Sept. 5 - Oct. 1, 2015.

To be exhibited in a two-person with Yvon Gallant entitled "Harvest" at the Fog Forest Gallery, Sackville, NB
October 12 - Nov. 8,  2017.