Essay / Avant-Garde

Classic Car

Classic Car Great attention has been paid to the contours of this car body. From the steep climb of the car’s snub nose to the semicircular arc of its rear, this car is one clean contour. In fact, if you start at the front you can see two lines that don’t quite come together. Those are actually the two ends of one single line which snakes unbroken around the entire perimeter of the car. The crayon never left the page until it had completed the shape. The wheels, please note, have not been drawn in as actual circles, but are constructed from two parts: the bottom halves are bumps in the one long line, while the top halves were added later. The illusion of roundness is more effective on the back tire than on the front. I can’t account for how the windshield was constructed, but as I read the continuous line it dives down into the driver’s seat, with the driver added later.

What a line! A bravura performance of curvilinear contour tracing! Truly this image is all about outline, and the artist tips you off to that fact by his strategic deployment of color. A big scratchy field of yellow is roughed in with gusto, spilling over the edges in a way that helps suggest speed. Yellow is green’s analogous color, next over on the color wheel.

“What kind of car is that?” I ask Freddy Age Six.
“A classic car,” he replies.
“But why does it have music coming from it?”
“It’s classical music,” he says.

Of course it is.

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