AFAS Artist Yahn Janou Chronicles Three Racing Eras In Stunning Paintings For Collector Car Week
CARMEL, Calif. – August 9, 2019 – French artist Yahn Janou, an associate member of the Automotive Fine Arts Society (AFAS), will introduce three original pieces in the group’s exhibit at the New Masters Gallery in Carmel. The abstract pieces feature a trio of classic roadsters, each in their own artistic setting so their lines and colors create unique atmospheres. The free exclusive car art show, entitled “Old Masters at the New Masters,” begins on Saturday, August 10 and runs through Sunday, August 18.
“I’ve long found competition to be intoxicating, which is why I love to create pieces about racing,” said Janou. “The racecar, regardless of era, represents power, speed, technology, elegance and, because it is purpose-built, exclusivity. That is why evoking the car and period it competed in is more important to me than a specific historical moment.”
One of Janou’s pieces features a car that put America on the post-war racing map – the Shelby Cobra. Despite its British roots, there are few cars – or automotive narratives – more intrinsically American than Carroll Shelby’s Cobra. Yet Shelby’s professional background, racing and winning as a driver in Europe throughout much of the ‘50s, is inextricably European. That serves as an overlay for Janou’s depiction of three fierce Shelby Cobras on the grid.
The prodigious power and chaos created by the legendary Shelby Cobra is evident in Janou’s foreground. While Janou’s brush strokes make the cars seem a bit muted, the cacophony created by their presence is anything but. “The Cobra Start” is memorialized in oil on a linen canvas, and measures 64” X 24”.
A different history is illustrated by Mr. Janou’s depiction of a classic Alfa roadster racecar. Against what would become a German onslaught on the Grand Prix circuits of the 1930’s, Alfa Romeo’s P3 punched well above its weight. Campaigned by Enzo Ferrari’s Scuderia Ferrari from 1933 to 1935, the P3 gets credit as the first single seater to race in the European Grand Prix. While underpowered relative to its German competition, it was also much lighter.
“In reviewing images from the period, the P3 looks to be from another racing era,” remembered Janou, “However, its many victories put it squarely in the period, and the historical record.”
“Alfa Romeo P3” is an oil on linen canvas painting that measures 22” X 29”.
In Janou’s third piece, his subject, a Lorraine Dietrich, reflects an era when the horseless carriage finally had real horsepower. Prior to World War I and its technical advances, horsepower was increased not by adding more cylinders, but simply making the available number of cylinders larger. This philosophy had its limits, though, so manufacturers began turning to technological advancements to improve power.
“As a successful automobile and aircraft engine manufacturer from 1896 through 1935, Lorraine-Dietrich represented some of the most advanced thinking at the time,” said Janou. “My painting of the French Lorraine Dietrich combines the period’s advanced technology, along with the the power, speed and elegance of the race car on canvas.
The artwork is an oil on canvas that measures 29” X 37”.
Yahn Janou’s artistry has been on display in France, Europe and the United States. He exhibited at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Cavallino Concours d’Elegance, Goodwood Festival of Speed, Switzerland’s Montreux, Ferrari’s 50-year anniversary in Maranello and at many events in France, including the Retromobile motor show and the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Janou has a strong bond with the Le Mans 24 Hours. In 2000, he was commissioned for the official poster. In 2018, Janou partnered with the ACO for a book compiling 150 watercolors dedicated to the Le Mans 24 Hours; the text was by Fabrice Bourrigaud, the head of the 24 Hours Museum. More of his work can be seen at www.autoartgallery.com.
The AFAS exhibit opens at the New Masters Gallery at 10:00 a.m. on August 10 and closes at 5:30. Those hours will continue through Friday, August 16. On Saturday (August 17), the exhibit again opens at 10:00 a.m., while a reception honoring the latest AFAS artists work begins at 4:00 p.m. and concludes at 6:30. The reception has evolved into a popular hotspot for celebrities, art collectors and industry leaders to preview and purchase the latest AFAS pieces. The gallery is located at Dolores St. between Ocean Ave. and 7th St. in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California.
About the Automotive Fine Arts Society
AFAS was first established in 1983 by a group of artists who are acknowledged by critics to be among the best in their field. Members work in diverse mediums, including oil, watercolors, acrylics, wood, gouache, pen & ink, clay and metal. AFAS and its members have participated in select shows across the country, including the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Dana Point Concours d’Elegance and the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Additional information about the Automotive Fine Arts Society is available at www.autoartgallery.com.