April 2023: Volume 14 No 1


Both the timing and content of this publication is undergoing change now and in the coming months. New issues will be published as events dictate and our format will be tighter and more targeted. » AutoArtGallery.com continues as a feature of this publication presenting a contact portal for many top-ranked automotive themed artists. Updated listings and new artists are featured in the 2023-24 launch. See the sidebar for the latest artist list... professional artists are invited to participate in the listings, learn more » here


Noted painter, AFAS member and husband of Sandra, Barry Rowe passed away in July 2022. We featured Barry's work in a 2019 story: » Barry Rowe profile. Barry's talent will be missed. I was shocked to hear that sadly, also in July of 2022, Raine Brown, talented artist and wife of » Dennis Brown suddenly passed away. Raine was a welcome presence at many annual AFAS shows. And again, in July of 2022, Fran Kesler Hale wife of AFAS artist Tom Hale passed away. With our shared wedding anniversaries, it was a joy to celebrate together during the annual Pebble Beach "car week" for a number of years. Dr Fred Simeone, founder of the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum passed away in early June of last year. I met Fred a few times and visited the museum in Philadelphia soon after its launch in 2008. His unique commitment to the "art" of the automobile is entirely why the museum exist today.

Many colleagues and friends have passed away in the last few years... mostly a result of the age of many of our AFAS members and others in the automotive community... but that's a sad consolation and it doesn't make it any easier....


Once again, I was booked (flights, hotel, rentals) for the full-scale return of the Artist'Auto group to the January RetroMobile show in Paris. Sadly...once again I had to cancel at the last minute as a result of conflicting responsibilities.
Rob Alen provides coverage and a brief interview with Yahn Janou, President of the artist group. » RetroMobile 2023.
Tony Clark returns with brief coverage of the RAC Art Of Motoring exhibition in conjunction with RM/Sotheby’s in London England last October. Over 20 artists participated... » RAC Art Of Motoring 2022.


A new show "Art of the Automobile" featuring paintings and sculpture is in the planning stages by a fine art group in Findlay Ohio. It's targeting for January 2024... » ...more


Tony Singer announces that his show Automobilia will return for the 19th annual expo. The 3 day show takes place August 14 to 16, 2023, during "Concours" and "Vintage Race" week in Monterrey in the Ballroom of The Embassy Suites.


Thanks for visiting our latest issue. As always, your comments are welcome.

Jay Koka, Publisher

info@nitebridge.com »

RetroMobile 2023

First, some background…. 125,000 visitors walked the aisles the 2023 edition, the second highest attendance figure for the exhibition since its creation in 1976. Saturday 4 February broke the record for the highest number of visitors ever recorded for a single day! French and international visitors were able to admire or purchase the 1,000 vehicles on display across the 73,000m² of exhibition space, bringing together over 500 exhibitors, including 12 car manufacturers. And, of course, Gallery des Artistes featuring work from a broad range of subjects and media.


By Rob Alen

The classic car world returned to Paris this February for Salon Retromobile. Retromobile is as important as Monterey Car Week except it is inside. Paris can be chilly in February. The world's best classic car dealers, with the world's best classics for sale and display. For a few days, it is one of the best car museums in the world.

There are scale models of unbelievable detail waiting for abracadabra to make real; books, parts, and automotive artists capturing all aspects of the automotive experience... the Galerie des Artistes rivals the art galleries along rue Jacob and rue de Seine in Paris' 5th arrondissement.

We spoke withYahn Janou, President of the organizing association Artst'Auto about the current auto art scene. (edited)

"I went to Art Center in Switzerland. I did transportation design. Wonderful, what is learned from Art Center?...the lessons were different than France. They ask students what they think of the school, teachers, administration. Brand new for me. At Art Center I learned with two painters...I learned the meaning of art. It is to deal with emotion. It is the brush on the canvas. You can see the trace on the canvas ...you can feel the person. I begin with the brush and then use the spatula/knife to reinforce the situation. I am the President of Artist'Auto, the association who organizes Galerie des Artistes. Not all people here are members, some are invited to show. We had around 45 artists in the gallery, but only 30-31 are members of the Association. The main focus is to have the really high level in the artists. When we accept a new artist, we ensure there is no competition between other artists. (To apply to participate, send us a portfolio via email. The board meets once a year in September to review what is acceptable for the Association.)"

"More people are doing art... if you look carefully... a lot or most are trying it one or two years. Many are "Sunday painters." Then there are "committed painters"...who invest some years so people can appreciate their work. The last Retro was 2020. There was one last year, but 2020 was the last one for me. Most of the artists are happy it is coming back, we are getting back to normal. RetroMobile is one of the first events of the year and so provides direction for the rest of the year.

There are other places beside RetroMobile for showing art (in Europe)...Lyon (France) for Epoqu'auto...is becoming quite a good show, not the same as Retro but Retrro is after all in Paris. There is also Techno-Classica Essen (Germany) and a lot of people used to go to England for Goodwood but today with Brexit you have so much trouble with customs...you sit in line in your car with the big trucks...waste a lot of time."

"The buyer for original (auto)art is (interested) for their own car... much of the time. Artists however are interested in getting in a gallery where people are buying art for the art style... auto themed art may represent a big difference. For me a car is only a car... coming to life in work if someone is working on it... driving it. But that takes vision. Uniquely a car with a man... that makes sense. The unity of car and driver, the driver is the artist. The car has to be human. "

The 2024 RetroMobile show is scheduled for Jan 31 thru Feb 4.

RAC ART OF MOTORING exhibition in conjunction with RM/Sotheby’s October 31st to 6th November 2022 This year’s London Art of Motoring exhibition was bigger and better than previous years which probably reflected the change of venue moving from the RAC Club in Pall Mall to the Conduit Gallery at Sotheby’s, New Bond Street. The gallery was a lot larger plus the illumination of the art was assisted by some directional spotlights which just lit the rectangular shape of the artwork. As in previous years the exhibition was curated by Andrew Marriott and Rupert Whyte of Historic Car Art.

Although the art principally represented UK based artists, work from overseas was also exhibited. In total there were 26 artists and many of them were present at the opening night reception. The artists displaying work were: Jonny Ambrose, Robin Bark, Simon Britnell, Dexter Brown, Joff Carter, Neil Collins, Anna-Louise Felstead, Ella Friere, Paul Howse, Brian James, Stefan Johansson, John Ketchell, Tim Layzell, Kevin McNicholas, Heidi Mraz, REVS Art, Richard Neergaard, Roy Putt, work of Barry Rowe, Andy Shore, Gary Smith, S Smyth, Martin Tomlinson, Michael Turner, Chris Wainwright, Richard Wheatland.

...Tony Clark, photographs courtesy of Andrew Marroitt and Rupert Whyte

SHOWS IN BRIEF... The Cobble Beach Concours in Ontario Canada returned after multi-year COVID absence in September 2022. The show featured an art area with exhibits by Jay Koka, Gord Walker, Don Kilby and Sacha Taylor. Much enthusiasm for the return of the show from both participants and the public. The show is September 15-17 this year. Event poster art by Jay Koka.

SHOWS IN BRIEF... The San Marino Concours, Los Angles, USA returned for a second year with an art display of 10 artists including Dennis Brown, Mark Stehrenberger, Geoff Ombao, Jamie Schena, John Frye, Tom Garner and Craig Kember. Art organizer Richard Pietruska reports increased traffic and interest.

"Art of the Automobile" show planned for Findlay Ohio

Just announced: the Findlay Art League is assembling a fine art automotive art exhibition planned for January 2024. Organizer Paul Sears is putting together plans for a show of about 50-60 paintings plus pedestal works to be held at "The Gallery at the Findlay Art League" in downtown Findlay Ohio. Established in 1947 Findlay Art League  www.findlayartleague.org/  is the oldest organization dedicated to the visual arts in Hancock Co, Ohio. The show is still in the assembly stages, contact  drpaulsears@desireltd.com   to be placed on the mailing list for show details as they become finalized. Also, watch this publication for timely updates.

motor>spirit - Rob Alen

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