SPEED ICONS is a collection of artworks created by Joel Clark and his publishers Historic Car Art that focus on the simple, graphic, striking colours and shapes of racing and sports cars.
JOEL CLARK is self-diagnosed “petrol-head” from an early age, Clark began his career as a vinyl sticker maker for race teams at Silverstone. He then went to art college followed by 15 years of professional work with some of the worlds top advertising agencies. Clark knows that when cars speed past us on the race track it’s not their engines or drivers that we really see; it’s the oranges, blues, whites, reds in shapes and patterns. It’s their colours.
Though Clark is a skilled artist in various traditional media, evident from his oil paintings, it’s his unique workings in vinyl that most resoundingly exhibit his understanding of the relationship between colour and motorsport. “I have now gone full circle” Clark explains, “and returned to the unique skill I learnt back at Silverstone, hand-cutting the vinyl graphics for racing cars, but now hand cutting vinyl to create artworks of iconic classic racing cars and liveries”
Each piece is the result of 20-30 hours of carefully working with a scalpel to hand-cut out the hundreds of intricate puzzle-like shapes of colour that make up an image. Rendering an entire scene in vinyl is especially challenging because of the limited palette the material is available in. This constraint, however, results in works of art that are in precisely the same colour as his subjects.
On the surface, Clark’s work appears to be just many coloured shapes and negative space. But, in the way of an Impressionist painting, or a blur of race cars at speed, these daubs of colour and the absence of fine detail are transfixing, thrilling and so much more than they appear.
The SPEED ICONS collection is available as beautiful limited edition prints.