CARMEL, Calif. – August 13, 2019 – Bill Motta, an award-winning artist and founding member of the Automotive Fine Arts Society (AFAS), will introduce three original paintings celebrating Alfa Romeo, Porsche and Lincoln at the group’s exhibit and reception at the New Masters Gallery in Carmel. The free exclusive car art show, entitled “Old Masters at the New Masters,” began on Saturday, August 10th and runs through Sunday, August 18th.
Those growing up enjoying the pages of Road & Track are already familiar with the artistry of Bill Motta. After some 40 years as the magazine’s art director and, most recently, its art editor, Bill has devoted himself during his retirement entirely to his art. And that art continues to reflect the breadth of Mr. Motta’s enthusiasm, a broad automotive interest perfectly illustrated by his selections for this year’s AFAS exhibit.
As the United States transitioned from a consumer economy to wartime production in 1942, an abbreviated 1942 model year included Motta’s first subject, an elegant Lincoln. Built by Ford, and fully reflecting Ford president Edsel Ford’s design ethos, the ’42 Lincoln is juxtaposed against an industrial backdrop.
“In the fall of 1941, everyone knew America would enter the war,” said Motta. “At that point it was only a question of ‘when’. The ’42 Lincoln might have been the last prewar hurrah from Ford, but the company’s ability to convert quickly to a wartime agenda played a pivotal role in the Allied victory. In ‘The Boss’s Lincoln’ I wanted to communicate America’s capability and, of course, its irrepressible optimism.”
A postwar Europe saw storied Alfa Romeo, known prior to 1940 for its grand touring road cars and many racing victories, begin its transition to a near-luxury portfolio and an export-intensive business model. Few outlets better chronicled its vehicles better than Road & Track.
“At R&T’s Newport Beach office, there was invariably an Alfa, or several Alfas, in our parking lot, there for review or owned by members of the staff,” said Motta. “Few cars spoke better to an enthusiast during the ’60 and ‘70s than Alfa Romeo. And no one washed their cars more frequently than Alfa owners! In ‘Alfa Bubbles’, I’ve tried to communicate their enthusiasm.”
As established European carmakers resumed production following the war, a handful of startups began their automotive journeys. Wanting to extend themselves beyond contract design work, Ferry Porsche and his small team of engineers and fabricators began production of Porsche’s namesake sportscar in 1948. Motta takes a new angle on the carmaker with his “Purple Porsche.”
“At its debut, Porsche’s 914 was highly controversial,” said Motta. “Built in partnership with Volkswagen, it was designed to be the accessible Porsche, but many of the sports car maker loyalists didn’t like the mid-mounted Volkswagen engine. At R&T we loved it. In the 45 years since the 914 was last produced, the car’s fan base has grown ever larger. When I painted ‘Purple Porsche’, I wanted to give an increasingly popular sports car the respect it’s always deserved.”
Beyond his many years with Road & Track, Mr. Motta has executed commissions for both private and corporate collections, including those of Alfa Romeo, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Rolls-Royce and Subaru. Motta has also created the poster art for many of America’s concours, including Pebble Beach, Amelia Island and Meadowbrook Hall. A native Californian, Motta is a graduate of Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design.
The AFAS exhibit opened at the New Masters Gallery at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 10 and closed 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.