AFAS Artist Barry Rowe Celebrates Europe’s Finest Prewar Cars and Coachbuilding
CARMEL, Calif. – August 14, 2019 – Barry Rowe, an award-winning artist and member of the Automotive Fine Arts Society (AFAS), will introduce six original pieces of art at the group’s exhibit and reception at the New Masters Gallery in Carmel. All the amazing works are oil paintings with the majority celebrating the spectacular automobiles built in the 1930s. The free exclusive car art show, entitled “Old Masters at the New Masters,” began on Saturday, August 10th and runs through Sunday, August 18th.
“Of the six paintings I’ll display in Carmel this year, four depict the period immediately prior to Europe’s descent into the madness of World War II,” said artist Barry Rowe. “From the stylish French Bugatti and elegant Delahaye to the dynamic Alfa Romeos shown on both road and track, the era is regarded by many as the benchmark for both automotive design and automotive competition. The magic of Bugatti and Alfa Romeo – and the drivers of that period – have always excited me. I have been lucky to have traveled in these old race cars!”
Ettore Bugatti, an Italian building his grand touring cars and racecars at his factory in Molsheim, France, regarded the design and engineering of his cars as nothing less than an artistic pursuit.
“Every Bugatti is a thoroughbred expression of automotive design,” said Rowe. “All are athletic, and while designed during a period in which the mechanical bits were largely concealed, any Bugatti is intrinsically mechanical. The Bugatti painting is of a Type 59 near Lake Garda, titled ‘Bugatti Blue’. The car was exceedingly fast for its day with a top speed of 160mph!”
As a maker of accessible cars in postwar Europe, many are surprised that Alfa Romeo built some of the most luxurious automobiles in the prewar years. Whether on the road, parked in an upscale neighborhood or in the heat of competitive battle, Alfa made history at a time when it inevitably played an underdog role to Germany’s Mercedes-Benz.
“Alfa Romeo may not have represented the jewel-like aesthetic epitomized by Bugatti nor the muscularity of Mercedes, but there’s a real artistry in Alfa’s sense of purpose,” said Rowe. “The bodies are very sculpted and easily blend motion with emotion. My two Alfa subjects in Carmel represent the full breadth of the Alfa Romeo spectrum – lovely to look at rest with ’Alfa’s Jewel’, and absolutely pugnacious in a competitive setting, as you see with ‘In Hot Pursuit’.
’Alfa’s Jewel’ is an oil on canvas painting measuring 40” X 30” and ‘In Hot Pursuit’ is also an oil on canvas at 40” X 30”.
Mr. Rowe’s fourth (of six) display pieces highlights the French Delahaye’s style and luxury with ’Delahaye – Style et Lux’, Rowe’s oil on canvas study is 20” X 30”.
“Delahaye is interesting as an artistic subject,” said Rowe “Few in America know the marque, but most seem to recognize its bodywork, and most will appreciate its almost innate sensuality.”
Founded in 1894, two years before Ford rolled out his Quadricycle, Delahaye didn’t really hit its stride until 1933, when the company re-entered auto competition while simultaneously introducing stunning coachwork at the Paris Salon. The ’Style et Lux’ artwork by Rowe speaks to both the Delahaye’s powerful footprint and utterly feminine design.
An English native, Rowe studied graphic design at the Coventry School of Art and Design. From there, he worked as an art director in advertising before pursuing his passion for automotive art, becoming a freelance artist in 1966. Rowe has enjoyed commissions from Louis Vuitton of Paris, Royal Mail, Royal Doulton and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Rowe has been commissioned 20+ times to create poster art for the Pebble Beach Concours or Pebble Beach Tour. More of Barry Rowe’s art may be seen at www.autoartgallery.com.
The AFAS exhibit opens at the New Masters Gallery at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, 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.