From my school days, my art professor taught me that art is “a collection of man’s greatest thoughts, ideas and aspirations brought to life.” Art is the essence of our humanity, signifying our ability of higher intelligence mixed with emotion, a testament and proof of our culture. A dose of maturity, exposure to the finer things and experience is required to truly appreciate art for its own sake.
As a car enthusiast and motoring journalist, I’ve had the pleasure to view, drive and savor experiencing some of the finest in four-wheeled art: the elegant curves of a Jaguar E-Type, the timeless allure of a Porsche 911’s sensual silhouette, or the brusque and sharp corners that make up the immortal Land Rover Defender, and even the original Toyota 2000GT, a Japanese adaptation of many a classical and timeless designs from Europe. These cars tingle the senses when standing still, and of course excite
further when behind the wheel.
But what of cars as subjects of art themselves in two-dimension (2D)? Truthfully, for many of us, encounters with the aforementioned cars are a rare and pivotal point in our lives, a once in a blue-moon experience. Thanks to modern technology today, we can find all that we want to know about these cars online, their history, pedigree and heritage and a myriad of images. But the age of instant gratification removes a considerable amount of the drama.
Marc Abasolo, a budding young artist and car enthusiast himself, has taken things a step further in enjoying both art and cars. Marc loves all cars. He has a mean Ford Ranger pick-up set-up for off-roading and overlanding, allowing him to see the great outdoors, and find more inspiration for his art. But it’s really Marc’s car paintings I am most interested in, and during the COVID-19 lockdown, Marc’s been busy with oil, canvass, brushes and of course, his imagination.
Marc’s been drawing and doodling since he was five years old and cars were always a part of that. He would watch numerous car-related documentaries, attend as many car shows and meets and is also a
photographer with a sharp eye for detail. His paintings resonate deeply with me because they capture the visual drama more than any digital image: the red Ford GT’s menacing front fascia typifies a real monster of primordial origin waiting to be unleashed; the Pagani Huayra akin to a fleeting angel with its rear active flaps helping cornering, the Ferrari 812 Superfast speeding past a blurry background like a demon, and the Porsche 911 standing tall and proud, like the proud Aryan it represents.
To put things in context, the Pieta, a sculpture by Renaissance Master Michelangelo di Buonarroti depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary, bereaved Mother of God, holding the body of a lifeless Jesus Christ as
he was taken down from the Cross, crying at seeing her Beloved Son dead in her arms. She shows the silent strength of all mothers who quietly support us and carry this burden quietly, enveloping the lifeless body of The Christ in her most loving arms. I saw this piece 20 years ago in the Vatican and it
moved me to tears.
However, a reality check shows that in this sculpture, the Virgin Mary would have been seven feet tall given her size versus that of Jesus Christ, whom many Christian scholars peg to be roughly six feet tall.
Through hundreds of years, nobody has really paid heed to this disparity in scale. Rather, people feel the drama and emotion of a loving mother who wants nothing more than to envelope, hug and protect the body of her lifeless son.
It is this very same drama that Marc Abasolo has captured in his paintings. Despite being two- dimensional (2D), the drama of motion, emotion, passion and energy is perfectly captured and shared with its viewers.
Marc credits Chip Foose, in his TV Show Overhaulin’ , a show that did massive makeovers for cars as his key inspiration. In each episode, Chip Foose would sketch a concept of the finished product he had in mind for a car he was making over, yet Chip’s attention to detail in on a rough sketch was amazing. It is this easy, effortless and smooth, flowing style that Marc aspires for in all his works.
At 23 going 24, Marc’s young and has a bright future ahead of him in cars and art. He accepts commissions too, but he is thankful he doesn’t need to rely on his artworks for income. He can paint without pressure, focusing on things he likes and inspires him. And Marc’s excited to get out once this
entire COVID-19 pandemic is over, so he can get fresh ideas too. Until then, he’ll keep busy.
Follow him and his works and connect with him on social media at @lapassionart on Instagram.
A car enthusiast through and through, Botchi Santos believes that different people have different needs. He tries to find the best car for a specific audience, and spruces things up by delving into car culture, helping make the local car community vibrant and enjoyable for all. His passion for motoring is built around a belief that cars are among the top three life purchases.