Volume 6 No 2 September 2015

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BOOK REVIEWS





BOOK REVIEW:
CLEWORTH:an ARTFULLIFE

Design Studio Press
ISBN 978-1-62465-016-1
Hardcover
168 pages
11.75” x 11.75”

Review by Wallace Wyss

I have known Harold Cleworth for nigh onto 30-40 years.

The first painting of his that I remember was the black 300SL gullwing Mercedes. It had an impact and I admired that he could put his name on it in big chrome letters and it was still considered "art." I know that he came from a 24 sheet (billboard) painting background so I realize that part of the appeal of his work is that he does it so it looks more striking from a distance than close up. It's an art a lot of artists who work on canvas only don't know about--how to make sure your work comes together from a distance.

This book, which I gather is Harold’s own response to the oft-asked question “Why don’t you do a book?” is a good representative of the length and breadth of his automotive work.

There’s plenty of cars pictured by themselves against a white background which is good if you only care about the car and not the context.

But three's another part of Cleworth that cares about depicting a car in its “natural setting” as it were (which in his case could include art deco-styled ‘50s buildings for a ‘50s car) he has a whole section on that and I like the buildings he has picked. If he didn’t depict cars I predict he’d be painting art deco buildings.

He is not a "purist" about which cars he chooses to depict. He has some Mercury “lead sled” Mercury cars lowered and customized . Harold saw the appeal of customs some decades earlier that Pebble Beach which only recently had a subclass for them. His book has a few custom cars, mostly large ‘Fifties cars with tailfins, most pictured against settings in Los Angeles or Venice, near the beach, where he lives.

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