Art x Cars is a series of artworks that explore the relationship between classic sports cars and 20th century art.
Growing up in Sydney Australia, I was involved in the art scene from a young age. I spent my teenage years working with artists, studying at several art schools, attending and having exhibitions, and ultimately immersing myself in the Sydney art scene as much as I could.
When I was 15, there was an explosion of interest in the automotive subculture. This coincided with the release of the ‘Fast and the furious’ movie which overtook my demographic. At the time it was a cultural phenomenon.
As the years went on, the obsession with cars got stronger, ultimately manifesting in the purchase of second hand sports cars and modifying them ourselves. My parents, art teachers and fellow artists hated that my attention was deviating away from art and was been entirely focused on cars.
For years I mixed between the two opposing cultures and thought I'd embody the experience I shared into an art series that blended the two subcultures.
This art series is an exploration of the divide between those subcultures through my own experience as well as creating a harmonious relationship where people can look past the stigma that surrounds each subculture and appreciate the art within. The timeless beauty of the shape and design of both classic sports cars and 20th contemporary art.
Then again, you could just look at this whole series as classic sports cars with 20th century art slapped all over it. Both views are relevant and not one is wrong. Take it however you like, that's what art is about. It's all subjective baby baby.
Behind the scenes video
I selected artists that inspire me. Whether it was artists I studied growing up, or ones I have recently discovered. When I was growing up, I was taught to hate contemporary artists and pop art. I look back at it now as a form of brainwashing perpetrated by older generational artists who had rather naive point of views in regards to art. I remember one teacher at art school was teaching all us students about how bad artists like 'Andy Warhol' were and to avoid ideas like his at all costs. That the 'Dadaism' movement was the worst thing to come from the art world, that programs like Photoshop are destroying the art world. The older I got, the more I began to appreciate the types artists who I was taught to hate.
I've selected classic sports cars in particular, models that have cultural followings from parts of the globe for different reasons. The Ford Mustang - the ultimate icon of American masculinity, the elegance of the Aston Martin DB5 associated with the English secret agent James Bond, the Nissan Skyline an icon of the the JDM (Japanese domestic market) import tuner car culture made famous in pop culture by shows like Initial D & FF3: Tokyo Drift. I never had any interest in classic sports cars, but the older I get, the more I associate them with beautiful works of art.
All the work is done via 3D graphics programs. The cars are modelled off real world blue prints, resembling the original design as close as possible. The artists works are sourced from photographs taken by myself and other photographers from museums and exhibitions then meticulously cut out one by one and modified in a photo editing program.
Modifications involve, repainting certain areas, changing colours and adjusting the shape and form of certain works and in some cases reproducing the artwork. Once the textures and paint for the car have been completed (the colour of the base paint, rims, bumpers etc of the vehicle is sourced from the artists actual works), the artworks are carefully arranged across the body of the car. I then begin drawing, designing and creating the custom branding for each vehicle. The branding is based off the artists style. Details like the artists real life signature and works, said quotes & portraits are used to create custom badges, emblems, tyres etc.
Once the aesthetics are completed, each car is taken into a unique digital photography studio that I have built and modelled off real life car photo shoots I have worked on. This is a throwback to my work as both a photographer and art director and includes an added touch of realism based off my experiences in real life. Multiple images are rendered with different lighting setups in order to get the best looking final image.
Each lighting setup image is rendered at ultra high resolutions, before being composited and edited in a photo editing program. The final image is then edited on a high quality colour calibrated monitor paired with a Colorimeter with the correct ICC profiles added in order to get the best possible print with most accurate colours.
I decided to approach the documentation of the series in a way that would confuse the audience as well as retaining elements from my life in advertising. I wanted to blur the line between digital and realism, by including photorealistic scenarios in which the artwork was placed in. This has the audience at times questioning the authenticity of the image. I decided to treat this series as a product, branding it, creating a logo, a promo video, advertising graphics, as well as names for each car that correlated to the idea. Just an added touch that felt familiar to me and to show my influences from advertising playing a part with my art.
I'm currently working on another 6 cars & artists. You can follow my instagram for the progress of these works.
Art x Cars Series 001 TVC Promo
I decided to create a promotional video similar to a TV commercial for a new car to sell the series. Click below to watch =)