Many would argue that automobiles in themselves represent an art form. In fact, in 1951, New York’s Museum of Modern Art held an exhibit of landmark automotive designs, highlighted by a Figoni & Falaschi-bodied Talbot–Lago T23 goutte d’eau coupe. But others see the automobile as but a blank canvas, which they are free to imbue with a creative expression unconnected to the underlying machine. Many of these, by popular artists, have gained notoriety in both art and motoring circles, and I’m sure you are familiar with one or more. But which one really speaks to you?
Calder, Hockney, even hipster diva Andy Warhol – they all splashed some paint on BMW racers, and immediately increased their value one hundred fold. Other, less well known artists regularly use the auto as a both canvas and mobile gallery. Whether pens, or pennies, computer keyboard keys or the detritus of society, there seems nothing that these budding Bob Ross’ won’t hot-glue to their rides in outlet of their creative drive.
Those cars usually end up in the junk yard rather than the art museum, but even there, their novelty attracts attention and the occasional appreciative nod. Of course, Pick-A-Part critiques are not what their creators had in mind when the vested their time and artistic expression in the work, but then, if they could have paid all those parking tickets they wouldn’t have been starving artists now would they?
So, amateur, undiscovered, or pretentious art-house favorite, there’s lots of art cars out there from which to choose. One of these must have tickled your fancy – oh perhaps not enough to replace that dogs playing poker painting you cherish so much, but maybe as an addition to your collection? Are you partial to the big guns, or do you like the whimsy of something with a dadaist’s perspective ? Each one is valid in its own way because, to quote Plato:
Remember how in that communion only, beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities (for he has hold not of an image but of a reality), and bringing forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of God and be immortal, if mortal man may.