As we approach another AFAS Exhibit at Pebble Beach in 2013 I’m wondering how the ‘automotive art’ market has fared so far this year. The Pebble Beach exhibit is always a telling barometer of the state of healthy, vibrant automotive art market. With the drop in interest since the 2007-8-9-10 market collapse, we, at the AFAS Art Exhibit have seen a slow, tedious rise in interest and sales over the last couple of years. So it begs the question, ‘if the DOW is over 15K, and classic car sales on an unprecedented upswing, will art sales follow? Which makes me question the niche of the art world we are so enthralled with. Will the auto enthusiasts come back with a passion for art or AUTOMOTIVE art? Are there any new enthusiasts that will ‘enter the arena’ with enough disposable income to move the market forward? Have all the previous clients, ‘filled their walls’, or have they become jaded and disinterested? I think not, but I do believe we as artists should not rely on our previous works and directions to carry us forward.
It is my opinion that art is a transitory thing at best; we as artists must question
every piece we create. Have I as an artist moved forward, brought something new,
re-defined myself and my work? Have I evolved as an artist? If not, why not and what can I do to search the meaning of who I am, and what I am as an artist. Has the drop in art purchases reflected a lack of movement by artists who have failed to address these issues?
I believe the market is alive and well, but we must open ourselves to exploring new directions in art that bring substance to the word, ARTIST. Why else do clients eagerly await to see what is new each year at Pebble Beach? THEY WANT TO SEE
SOMETHING NEW! It is our responsibility, then, to honor that passion our clients have for the subject matter we affectionately call automotive art. I know, I know you have previously heard me rant about using the word, ‘automotive’ when it comes to art with the automobile as the primary subject matter, but it is very hard in this day and age to shake free of that. It seems that every time I turn around some reporter is using the term ‘automotive art’ to describe a new car design. Ugh!!!! Some museums have even put the automobile on display as art. So I guess we can stretch the term automotive art even further now, right?
Well not in my opinion. Lest we pigeonhole ourselves into a hole of self-righteous indignation we will have to move beyond conventional thinking and take a different approach.
Which begs the question, have we as an organization moved far enough, fast enough,
to bring new ideas and creations to the “automotive art arena”? For my part I will, for the rest of my life, keep questioning why and why not. With each new piece I mean to explore these thoughts and always push to make my work challenging, new, and, hopefully, exciting for the viewer as well as myself.
Publisher's note: yes, the official disclaimer...opinions expressed are exclusively those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the publication.