It’s Squirrel, Actually.

Sounds odd, doesn’t it? And so it should! Who would’ve thought the thuggish American grey squirrel could do some good?

“Don’t sneeze”. (c) Images.complex.com.

Artwork has been around since man first walked the earth, from those basic but enigmatic cave paintings through innumerable differing themes, spheres and periods. Prior to the automobile entering the scene, the largest canvas one could expect to become embellished by a more detailed approach might have been a carriage, steam engine, a wagon or the mighty locomotive. With these large expanses to adorn, you could really personalise, promote your product.

JJ Deal of Janesville, Michigan was the producer of fine wagons, carriages and buggies powered by natural horsepower. From 1845 Deal swiftly gained a reputation for building not only quality products but also a highly detailed paint finish. Deal’s Chief Striper was a fellow named Andrew Mack. A perfectionist, Mack was never completely satisfied with the quality or performance of his paints and brushes whilst working at Deal, seeking better products and methods in which to Continue reading “It’s Squirrel, Actually.”

Can Cars Make a Good Subject For Art?

If you glance through a copy of a classic car magazine you will not have to look too hard to find pictures of racing scenes: Augustine “Bodger” Gilhooley behind the wheel of a Gilbern Invader, winning the 1972 Norfolk Broads Hill Climb, for example. Is that art? Can cars make for good art?

"Road" the art of Steen Larsen (2012). The book cover is a detail of a 2011 painting 100x200 cm. Oil on canvas.
“Road” the art of Steen Larsen (2012). The book cover is a detail of a 2011 painting 100×200 cm. Oil on canvas.

A book of the art of Steen Larsen prompted me to consider this question again. “Road” is a collection of Larsen’s paintings from the period 2004 to 2011. The front cover is an eye-catching green metallic Ford Consul L (pretty much identical to Myles Gorfe’s troublesome 2.0. Granada L). Up to this point, only two pieces of good automotive art had crossed my path: Julian Opie’s cars and an image of a Porsche 911 parked in a grimy lane by a German artist whose name eludes me.

Apart from these three, I discounted paintings involving cars. The rather literal images satirised in the intro typically are very detailed oil paintings where the important elements Continue reading “Can Cars Make a Good Subject For Art?”