When I was at the Amelia Island show a few weeks ago, there was far more to see than just the cars. One of the booths that caught my eyes and pulled me contained artwork by Lory Lockwood. Her collection, known as Portraits in Chrome, are more than just paintings of cars – they are true portraits that bring out the curves and the reflections.
Lory is a trained artist and had done much work before turning to motorized subjects. She says she started in doing motorized subjects in the mid-90s but didn’t become seriously involved in this aspect of painting until around 2004 or so. Her husband, Tony, is a Brit and owner of a 1959 TR3A and a 1966 E-Type Jaguar. He is also Lory’s business manager.
Quoting from Lory’s website, “The fascination with cars and motorcycles had begun quite earlier. Growing up outside New York, she learned to drive in a 1966 Mustang and dated a guy with a Harley Davidson. She rode the Bronx River Parkway in a Mercedes Gull Wing and learned to drive a stick shift on a 911 Porsche. Later on as reflections, photorealism and abstraction became her artistic focus, she painted Ferraris, Jaguars, Porsches, Harleys and Ducatis. One of the latest commissions is of three vintage Mercedes entitled ‘Beautiful Creatures‘ as one of the cars was in the recent Jeremy Irons movie.”
While clearly influenced and perhaps even stemming from the photo-realistic school of painting, Lory’s creations are much more. They go beyond realism to the feelings and impressions of what we see when we look our world. The details are there, yes, but the curves and reflections are caught in such a way that they draw our eye and attention to the presence of the car – something pure realism doesn’t do.
We dream, we covet, we desire. These aspirations realized or not, can give us pleasure, fantasy, and a sense of identity or style. They fuel a drive for personal fulfillment and distinction. They can be fun and exhilarating and just simply make us feel good.
Images of automobiles and motorcycles can represent these desires. These images signify speed, power, adventure, danger, wealth, prestige and beauty. They are realities, fantasies and illusions at the same time. And they are evidence of our passions and our drives.
Lory splits her creative time between painting works she selects and doing commission work for collectors. Collectors ma. She told me this is one of the best things about her chosen career – meeting the people. She said that the people in the car hobby are a great group who are passionate about the cars they love. That passion clearly flows over to Lory and her work.
One particularly interesting aspect to me when I talked to Lory was that of a woman in a field that is most often associated with men. Perhaps due to this, her paintings come from a different angle. She approaches her subjects as art first instead of as primarily mechanical objects. She related to me an exchange once where someone asked her, “How do you paint chrome?” She was dumbfounded. “You paint what you see. You aren’t painting the chrome.”
It is that vision that makes her work unique. And captivating.
Check out Lory Lockwood’s site at Portraits In Chrome. You can also catch her at many upcoming shows, especially along the East Coast.
Some of Lory’s upcoming shows: