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Limited Edition prints will also be available for fine art pieces that are not automotive.

Auto Art vs. Fine Art


Automotive Art also referred to as Auto Art, and Car Art is a rapidly growing form of fine art. The specialized term Car Art should not be confused with Art Cars where the cars themselves become part of the art that is painted or sculpted onto an existing vehicle.


To begin to judge the merits of Automotive art we need to understand the impact of this relatively new category of fine art on society. We must do a number of things, the first of which is to try to understand what art and fine art is. I say this because the acceptability of car art is not universal in all establishment art circles and this is not just the hesitation to accept individual styles, or certain pieces but sometimes the rejection of the whole genre.

The Art "Establishment", that nebulous term, which roughly equates with those willing and having the funds to purchase works of art have been the gatekeepers of what becomes priceless and what falls by the wayside. There is a long history of now accepted and desired art forms being rejected at first by the "Establishment" Works from artists like Van Gogh and the early Picasso come to mind. We must also determine what an illustration is and what the contribution of automotive styling has done to this rapidly proliferating subject matter.

Fine Art.
Online American Heritage Dictionary describes fine art as:
Noun:
1. Art produced or intended primarily for beauty rather than utility.
2. Any of the art forms, such as sculpture, painting, or music, used to create such art. Often used in the plural.

The term has been used to define the Visual Arts and not arts that reflect a craft or have a utilitarian aspect. Fine Art requires discipline in the field of painting, printmaking, sculpture and or architecture.
There is no precise definition for art and there probably never will be since what has been acceptable has changed sometimes from generation to generation. Today abstract and impressionistic artists are more favorably looked on by the establishment than realist painters. But over a century ago this situation was reversed. It took a while for the first French impressionist painters to be accepted. Also, the science used to enable artwork as it involves supports (canvases), the chemistry of pigments, techniques and other things such the growing knowledge of how light works has affected in the types of paintings we see today. The use of perspective during the renaissance and non objective art at the end of the 19th century changed how we looked at art.


Another very important change that may or may not affect the viewpoint some have on automotive art as worthy of being included as a subject matter for fine art is the loss of importance of narrative in art today.
Historically narrative or story telling has been an important part of painted images from those found on tombs, temples and palace walls in archeological digs to the scenes depicted in domestic paintings by the Renaissance masters all the way up to the canvases of realist painters of the 19th century.
High quality automotive fine art often tells a story or draws the viewer in by depicting an impressionist background or sometime one that is even non objective. More often than not the artist will prefer to stay with realism or photo realism as a background. Impressionism was developed in France in the late 1800s and refers to the play of light on an object with a resulting color change through time. Primary colors were often used and the objects were not well defined. Non bjectivism is a term used to define a canvas where objects are not identifiable on the painting.
I believe that because automotive art relies on realism to depict its primary subject mater in its most flattering way it has run the risk of being looked upon by some of the art establishment as not particularly at the cutting edge of any art movement and in fact maybe as a throwback to an earlier movement. There are arguments for this viewpoint but there are also arguments for the merits of depicting cars as part of our history. They have in will continue to shape civilization and have been praised and vilified. Automobiles as subject should have an important place in our artistic expression. It is also necessary to take into consideration the merits of each genre of art and not disqualify any for varying reasons many of which are unsupportable. Using the simple definition provided above by the Online American Heritage Dictionary then automotive art can qualify as Fine Art as the art is intended not as a functional object but for its aesthetic qualities. That many automobiles have this quality also makes it all the better.

How to judge individual automotive art.

Today we have gotten too involved with the execution of a thing and the precision of its creation at the sacrifice of its value. By value I mean whether an object can elevate passion or instruct us individually into the reason for the objects creation. Are we intellectually stimulated or challenged any more. The other day I saw an ad for a Lexus that parks itself . As one who has always loved automobiles I would rather park the damn thing myself thank you very much. But, then many with that kind of money will not buy themselves a vintage sports car but rather the thing that though well executed has the excitement of a zucchini in both style and thrill of driving. Nothing much is hand built any more and many things have lost their character or uniqueness.

I have read that it is more difficult to create a successful abstract painting than it is to create a realistic one and also the reverse. There are reasons to hold to both views. Each requires the composition to follow the elements and principals of art, which are what an artist uses to control and unify the space on which the work is set..

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