Aston Martin centenary celebrations on canvas.

Cars as art

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As luxury British sports car maker Aston Martin’s centenary year draws to a close, the company is unveiling a collection of unique artworks created to celebrate and document its 100 years in business. 

More than 150 of the sport car maker’s owners, enthusiasts and advocates joined key figures from the London art world on November 21st at the brand’s unique central London showcase – W-One – for the unveiling of the paintings created by Aston Martin’s centenary artist-in-residence, James Hart Dyke. Last night was the second most successful opening James has ever had, only equalled by his MI6 opening. Following his recent work for the producers of the James Bond films and his exhibition, ‘A year with MI6’, James was invited by Aston Martin to create the series of paintings on show in W-One that help record the centenary year.

James was given exclusive, behind-the-scenes, access throughout the year and the resulting paintings are based on visits to the state-of-the-art Aston Martin factory and global headquarters at Gaydon in Warwickshire, the Le Mans and Nürburgring 24-Hour races and many other centenary events. The works, consisting mainly of oil on canvas, document among other things the drive of the 1959 Le Mans-winning DBR1 by racing legend Sir Stirling Moss at the year’s N24, the debut of the centenary-inspired concept car – the CC100 – and the central London celebration of 100 years of Aston Martin that saw more than £1 billion-worth of rare and exotic Aston Martins displayed at Kensington Gardens in July.

Other works record the building of modern cars at the hi-tech factory at Gaydon and sit alongside images detailing the unique craftsmanship and artisan skills on hand at Aston Martin Works, the Newport Pagnell-based historic home of Aston Martin and the brand’s global centre of excellence for heritage and restoration. Guests at the VIP preview evening in London also had the opportunity to discuss the centenary works with the artist himself, as well as snap up some of the unsold pictures.

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Centenary artist-in-residence James Hart Dyke said: “The priceless opportunity to get so closely involved in this, Aston Martin’s centenary year, was one that I simply could not turn down. I have been lucky enough to attend many of the signature events in this remarkable year and I hope the paintings deliver a real flavour of the special celebrations.”

Janette Green, Global Director of Brand Communications at Aston Martin, said: “James’s work brilliantly captures the spirit of Aston Martin’s centenary. From heritage and motorsport to cutting edge sports cars, the brand’s unique appeal is summed up in these images and we are very happy to see them displayed here in Mayfair.”

The centenary art exhibition runs at W-One on Park Lane in Central London until Friday 29 November.

Further information is available via www.astonmartin.com or www.jameshartdyke.com

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