harold-cleworth automotive art

Harold Cleworth

“The area I grew up in, industrial northern England, was a grimy place of coal mines. My dad was a bus driver for 50 years, so I was around machinery all the time; he introduced me to the aesthetics of machinery. I owe him a great deal.” His father wanted a mechanic for a son, but Harold was destined to become one of the great automotive artists.

After moving to London in the late 60s, he got a gig at Decca Records, illustrating album covers for the Rolling Stones and the Who. He moved to groovy Haight-Ashbury and started to paint. “England was black and white, but America is Technicolor.” His first car painting was the tailfin of a pink 1959 Cadillac. His breakthrough was when a guy commissioned him to paint his black Mercedes-Benz gullwing. The print went on to sell hundreds of thousands to complement contemporary decor in hip living rooms and dens.

Everyone agrees: Harold Cleworth is one of the most celebrated and brilliant of the AFAS (Automotive Fine Art Society). AutoWeek has dubbed him “the painter laureate of the car.” Read deeper about Harold Cleworth.

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