Some of you may already know of Ian Cook. He’s a British artist and – since he’s a bit of a petrolhead – enjoys using cars as the subject matter in his pieces. That may not sound altogether original but the manner in which Ian creates his pieces places him a cut above the rest.
For his latest piece, using lashings of paint that reacts to ultra-violet light, Ian has created a topographical scene of a Chevrolet Volt in London. Impressive enough as it stands, throw an ultra-violet black light on top of it and the whole image will seemingly ‘rise up’ off the canvas. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s a world first.
So how does Ian create such an artistic piece? A selection of brushes and an unwavering final image in mind? Anything that’s lying around the house and a ‘let’s see how it goes’ attitude? Actually, Ian – aka Popbang Colour – kind of sits in the middle, since he uses radio-controlled cars to create his masterpieces.
The first high-profile example of this technique came to light in 2008 when Ian painted a meticulously detailed replica of the Chevrolet Spark, which has since adopted the moniker SpART. It didn’t take long for Chevrolet to come knocking, and a lot of Popbang Colour’s projects have revolved around the American giant.
At the British Motor Show in 2009, Ian wowed the British public when he painted three different pieces live on-stage, including two concept models and World Touring Championship race winner Rob Huff’s Chevrolet Lacetti.
The following year, Ian repeated the feat during the WTCC round at Brand’s Hatch by painting Huff’s race-spec Chevrolet Cruze. Since then, Ian’s even enlisted the help of British Touring Car Champion Jason Plato (for an hour or two during a BTCC weekend at Silverstone) to create a Chevrolet Spark art car. Or SpART 2.0.
No stranger to the motorsport circuit, Ian has also made visits to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, where his Formula One inspired works (yep, he doesn’t just do Chevys) have become something of a cult phenomenon.
And for the classic car enthusiasts among you, you’ll also be pleased to hear that Popbang Colour has also made an appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where his many canvases have paid tribute to – among others – the 1954 Mercedes W196 and the late-Richard Burns’ World Rally Championship Subaru Impreza.
One wonders what Ian’s got up his paint-stained sleeve for next time. We at crankandpiston would like to suggest a trip to Dubai Mr Cook. Given the automotive delights cruising the UAE tarmac on a daily basis, we doubt you’ll be disappointed.
Shots courtesy of Popbang Colour