AFAS Artist Dennis Brown Gives Mid-Century Motoring A Modern Perspective

CARMEL, Calif. – August 9, 2019 – Dennis Brown, an award-winning artist and long-time member of the Automotive Fine Arts Society (AFAS), will introduce three original pieces at the group’s exhibit and reception at the New Masters Gallery in Carmel. In Mr. Brown’s commemoration of mid-century design, his pieces effectively hit the automotive trifecta with subjects ranging from Butzi’s Porsche to Enzo’s Ferrari and Harley Earl’s GM. The free exclusive car art show, entitled “Old Masters at the New Masters,” begins on Saturday, August 10th and runs through Sunday, August 18th.

Whether depicted as a static exhibit or shown racing against a blurred backdrop, all three of Brown’s pieces convey the timeless appeal of classic design.

“I’m drawn to antiques, classics and racing cars,” said Brown. “These three pieces depict some of the most compelling works of ‘rolling art’ designed by Porsche, Ferrari and this GM concept. I couldn’t be happier with my celebration of this trio of memorable automobiles.”

Brown’s artwork emphasizes ‘Butzi’s Car’, the Porsche 356 that would have had the greatest impact as a young Ferdinand Alexander ‘Butzi’ Porsche learned to drive. The artwork is acrylic on board, and measures 20” X 25” framed.

“I intentionally include numerous touchstones in the professional life of the young Porsche,” said Dennis Brown, “one whose design portfolio quickly went from simply good designs to what are today regarded as timeless icons.”

In profile, Mr. Brown’s Ferrari almost explodes on the wall, with its foreground and background punctuated by the competition Ferrari racing across the middle of the roughly two feet by two feet image. Sportscar racing in the ‘50s was a multifaceted combination of purebred (Ferrari, Maserati, Mercedes and Jaguar) and mongrel (Allard is the best known) Despite its explosive presence, the Ferrari’s design is almost nuanced.

According to Brown, “In postwar Italy, the vast majority still went to work on foot or bicycles. The competition success of Ferrari touched everyone, injecting a sense of national pride in a society still rebuilding. With ‘So Sweet’ I’ve attempted to capture both the excitement of the moment, and the inevitability of the win.”

Using acrylic on board, ‘So Sweet’ measures 23.5” X 25.5” with frame.

As the first director of GM’s Art and Colour Section, Harley Earl and his small team were charged with injecting – for the first time at General Motors – ‘design’ into automotive design. And in a succession of production successes, the Earl influence was inimitable – and inevitable. From the ‘20s through Earl’s retirement in the ‘60s, no company better reflected the American design ethos than GM, and no one spoke with more authority on GM’s design than Harley Earl.

Dennis Brown’s third painting, ‘Harley Earl’s Babe’, depicts Earl’s 1951 LeSabre concept in all its artful glory. The framed artwork, acrylic on board, is 22” X 30” framed.

“I wanted the back view of the LeSabre, for it’s in the rear that you see all of the aeronautical influence – prominent tailfins and a jet-like exhaust – that epitomized much of postwar Detroit,” said Brown. “Earl was a design icon, and General Motors was happy to share him. All you had to do was buy a GM car!”

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.