Cars can be simple modes of transportation, prized roadster babe-magnets and smooth aerodynamic vehicles for skilled racers on a track. But it is the truly talented, eccentric and venturing souls that use cars in a variety of ways to create art. This week's Top Five is an eclectic mix of men whose cars will probably not be seen in a showroom near you.
Although famous for the 32 Campbell's Soup Cans, the renowned artist, Andy Warhol, is just as known for hand-painting the fourth BMW Art Car in 1977. The bright strokes used were to depict speed and the car raced only once during its lifetime at Le Mans in 1979. Between 1962 and 1964, Warhol created Death and Disaster, a series depicting car crashes. A year before his death, in 1986, DaimlerChrysler commissioned the pop artist to do a car series in commemoration of the company's 100th birthday.
Gerry Judah is the artist when it comes to cars and sculptures. The Calcutta-born prodigy made a name for himself by breaking out from the confines of galleries to the capaciousness of public spaces. Perhaps he is most well-known for his centrepieces at the Goodwood Festivals of Speed, which he has been creating since 1997. His latest creation was a piece for Alfa Romeo for the 2010 opening. Judah has also created impressive settings for Paul McCartney, Ridley Scott Associates and Michael Jackson.
Stanley Marsh 3
In 1974, Texan artist Stanley Marsh 3 collaborated with the Ant Farm, a hippy art group from San Francisco, resulting in the Cadillac Ranch. This eccentric display uses 10 Cadillacs half-burried in the ground, reputedly at the same angle as Egyptian pyramids. The cars are graffitied with fluorescent Day-Glo paint, but they are as much defaced by the artists as by the public; visitors are encouraged to rip off souvenir pieces. Marsh's controversial style has been criticised, but he remains undeterred.
Richard Estes is an American artist who is known for his realist painting style. His cityscape depictions usually consist of clean, inanimate daytime settings where he uses reflective surfaces like car hoods to mirror skyscrapers. In 1971, he received the National Endowment Fellowship Award for Painting and in 1995, he won the Governor's Awards for the Arts from the California Arts Council. He was also awarded the MECA Award for Achievement as a Visual Artist from the Maine College of Art.
Harley Earl was the first vice president of design at General Motors, and is considered the first true stylist in the auto industry. He developed freeform sketching and hand-sculpted clay models, which he pioneered as design techniques. He also invented the "concept car", the first of which was the Buick Y-Job. In his 31 years at GM, Earl designed or was behind the huge tail fins of the 1950s, annual style changes and the Corvette. He also initiated camouflage research for war buggies.