My Path to Automotive Art and Sculpture
I’m an artist who lives and breathes cars and racing.
My fascination with automotive art and sculpture began while I was an automotive design student at the Cleveland Institute of Art.
During my time in the program I literally ate, slept, and breathed all things cars. I was a man possessed, unrelenting in my obsession. I sketched cars seven days a week for at least 8 – 10 hours a day the entire year. In conjunction to honing my art skills, I tried to increase my knowledge of cars and design by immersing myself in anything automotive related. Techniques, racing, design icons, engineering, fabrication … everything!
It was during this quest that I stumbled across a group of artists who were displaying automotive artwork at various concours. I was immediately fascinated with the idea of creating artwork that could transcend the constraints that I was bound to as a design student. Soon, I would often find myself supplementing my design assignments with “creative breaks”. Stolen moments where I could relax by creating automotive artwork and sculpting the occasional speed form. It was addicting. My student work began to slip more into the creative art realm than the practical, surely affecting my chances of becoming a Big Three designer.
Designing four dour sedans and SUV’s was the ticket to stability in the corporate sponsored environment of school. Trucks never stirred my soul and I soon found myself yearning to extend my reach. It was then that I began to believe that there might be something more, something different. I daydreamed of hand-building my own sports car much like my childhood hero Enzo Ferrari. Why not learn to do so by creating artwork? Although not as exhilarating as fabricating my own exotic car, creating automotive artwork would be less daunting of a leap and was in line with my financial means. I could learn and create at will without limits.
That singular thought back in 1994 sent me down a road that has taken the past twenty years of my life. Along the way I worked at numerous design jobs to support my dream. Many were automotive related and fueled my creative fire such as my time at Shelton Ferrari. I also designed sport fishing boats and websites. I created a 10,000 square foot automotive themed warehouse for a prominent collector. I put in the hours and did whatever it took to stay on track with my vision.
I have spent the past decade learning about the legendary Carrozzerias and their techniques. Not simply learning facts and minutia but real hands-on knowledge, applicable, so that I might work in the same manner as they once did. I wanted to engage enthusiasts in a way that they could understand and connect with based on the common knowledge of how the cars of their dreams were made. I knew if they saw the exposed wooden buck and the raw, hammered aluminum it had to be authentic. Craftsmanship, cannot be simulated.
Of course this meant also acquiring the tools to do so. I’ve spent years saving enough money to slowly accumulate the myriad of tools necessary for my journey. I also traveled and studied alongside one of the Nation’s greatest metal crafters. I hammered and shaped. I welded, welded, welded. I sweat and spilled blood. I honed my skills on scraps of aluminum night and day until I felt ready to unleash my vision.
That first vision was my sculpture entitled “Heritage of Speed”.
The primary focus of my automotive sculptures and artwork is to capture energy, speed, and fluidity of form. In doing so, I try to reflect the techniques and traditional methods of fabrication that influenced the character of the original design. The hand-built subtleties that give a car its’ persona. The nuances of undulating curves of aluminum as they intersect in sharp creases to imply speed. The contrasting rough hewn, underlying wooden buck that serves as the foundation of form. Implied movement of hidden force.
Most importantly, I prefer to capture the automobile and race car abstractly. A three dimensional study of gesture and stance similar to figure drawing. I deconstruct each car down to it’s essential characteristics and try to imply movement by accentuating form and materials. I am always experimenting with ways of juxtaposing intricate details and features with flowing, ribbons of metal to impart energy and emotion. Polished Rossa Corsa perfection faded to rough, marked aluminum.
I spare no expense in creating my pieces. I use nothing but the finest materials and the same automotive paint that is found on the original cars. There isn’t a single item that is store bought. Every detail is fabricated by hand right down down to the emblems and headlights. Each automotive sculpture represents over a 1,000 painstaking hours of tedious, skilled labor. Furthermore, they are one-off custom creations that will never be reproduced or duplicated.
In the future I hope to push the boundaries even further. I strive daily to challenge myself as an artist. I often break new creative ground yet many times I am met with disastrous consequences! It is only by learning to grow that we can break free from the doldrums of our “comfort zone” and create experiences that are truly moving. There is nothing worse than to be mired in our own success and inadvertently repeat the same style of work for years on end. I would rather test the limits and create art that polarizes the viewer than mediocre art that plays it safe for acceptance sake.
Hopefully my current sculptures embody this ideal and my future ones even more so. Regardless, it’s always a trip seeing what conspires!
I also offer individual, bespoke automotive sculpture solutions for corporate environments. What could be a better focal point for a lobby, atrium, conference room, or exterior entrance than an amazing sculpture as a center piece?
I am currently accepting private and corporate commissions of all shapes, sizes and marques. I would be honored to work with you to create a memorable work of art.
Galleries & Events
I am always interested in collaborating with others that share my passion. Whether it be a gallery or unique event, I am always open to opportunities to display my work.