Continuing our series of artist profiles, Robin Bark is a member of the Artist Auto group.
Robin Bark is a sculptor and a painter who has had a life long passion for speed and cars knowing all the makes on the road before he could read.
He attended art school in South Africa and then spent time in advertising. Later, he studied Ceramics in London, gaining a degree from Goldsmiths’ College. Robin then worked as a freelancer, restoring his classic cars and motorcycles whenever he could.
After starting a family, he taught Design in colleges and university. In 2007 he finally returned to making his own work focusing, of course, on cars.
Having revived his talents, Robin exhibiting for the first time in 2011. He has since shown his work around the world gaining international acclaim. He has exhibited at the exclusive RAC ‘Art of Motoring’ in Pall Mall, London each year since it’s inception. He is regularly at the Goodwood Revival, UK ; Retromobile, Paris and also Techno Classica, Germany. He has attended Monterey Car Week several times, showing his work at Automobilia and Retro Auto.
Robin seeks to capture the essence of the car in a pure and simple form.
His painting, in recent years, has moved on from an illustrative style to a simplified, stencil approach informed by his time as a poster artist. The perception of speed and dynamism is portrayed in bold compositions of rhythmical forms and flat, vibrant colour.
Robin’s 3D pieces are initially worked in clay and then cast in solid aluminium from a sand mould. The rough castings are meticulously hand fettled and polished. Some pieces are finished as highly polished aluminium, others are plated in nickel, platinum or gold.
Reflections play an important part, because Robin doesn’t use lines in his work. The essential detail is revealed as highly polished surface planes reflect light, evoking a sense of speed and energy.
“Seeing a speeding car is exciting. The brain rapidly morphs fleeting glimpses with emotion, noise and power…..I try to capture something of this in my work”.
Moray Callum, Ford Chief Designer 2015 Mustang, said of Robin’s 50Year Mustang sculpture “Bark has created an object of art that appears to be fluid motion”.
Other motoring grandees have recognized Robin’s work. Sir Stirling Moss has a sculpture of his Mille Miglia car. Ducati rider, Paul Smart; Norman Dewis OBE (of Jaguar fame) and Gordon Murray (McLaren F1 designer)
all own pieces of Robin’s work and have signed his limited editions.
Robin’s by-line reads ‘INSPIRED BY THE SPIRIT OF MOTORING’