Ben Quilty’s Car Paintings

Very few artists have pulled off a good painting of a car. It’s kind of like painting a smile, they just don’t seem to work. The closest to pulling off a good smile would be Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, but even that is more of a smirk than a smile.

expressionist car painting

But the car paintings of the young Australian painter Ben Quilty are really quite impressive. Perhaps it’s because he knows his subject..
“These are part of a series of paintings of a car, a 1972 L J Torana with a 3.3 litre blue motor, stage three head, extractors and cam, electronic ignition and a three-speed floor shifter : standard weapon for a young man’s Australian suburban life.” Ben Quilty
Here’s some more car paintings from an exhibition at the Grant Pirrie gallery in Sydney.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Ben Quilty seems to have gone ahead in leaps and bounds since winning the Whiteley scholarship.
    His paintings are very fresh.. and I agree with you about the car paintings.. they really work well.

  2. I can think of only one successful painting featuring a car: Norman Rockwell’s The Swimming Hole (1945). I’d be interested to view any others you might name.

  3. I just found a picture of the Swimming Hole by Rockwell.. it works too.
    I cant think of any other car paintings worth mentioning.

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