Mustang Fine Art
Capturing the Essence in Scale
Larry Jewett - May 15, 2014 09:20 AM
Mustang is being highlighted in a collectible art form.Ford Motor Company
The nuances of the unique Mustang shape are captured in the design work of Robin BarkFord Motor Company
A view from above of the special Mustang artwork.Ford Motor Company
For many fans of automotive design, the vintage Ford Mustang has long been considered a rolling work of art. As part of the 50 years of Mustang celebrations, U.K.-based artist Robin Bark has been licensed by Ford Motor Company to turn Mustang into a limited-edition collectible sculpture.
“I think I was drawing cars the moment I was born,” said Bark. “Growing up in South Africa, I wanted to design cars, but there wasn’t much call for it, so I switched from industrial design to graphics, which took me into advertising for a time.”
Bark starts a project with an extensive series of photos of the car, which he then translates into rough engineering drawings. As his first American car sculpture, Mustang came as a unique challenge for Bark.
“Mustang is a very different shape from the earlier cars I had done, which were more classically streamlined,” he said. “I look for what the designers were trying to achieve with shapes, and try to capture the essence of the car while also imparting a sense of motion to a static object.”
Bark shapes an initial model in clay. The fundamental shape is then transferred into a resin version, which shows how the light reflects off the contours. The resin model becomes the pattern for an aluminum prototype.
“I tried to reveal its story as it reflects in the light,” he explained.
“From the shark-bite nose to the long, sweeping line of the fastback roof to the tri-bar taillamps, Mustang has a quintessential profile that makes it easily recognizable to everyone on the road,” said Moray Callum, Ford vice president, global design. “Robin Bark has captured the essential nature of one of the greatest Mustangs in his sculpture, creating an object of art that appears to be fluid motion.”
Working with a traditional foundry based in Guildford, U.K., the raw aluminum castings are produced in batches of 10 at a time. Each casting is polished to a finished piece that is signed and numbered by the artist and placed in a commemorative wood box. No more than 500 of the 1965 Mustang fastback sculptures will be produced. The limited-edition sculptures are available through the artist’s website, robinbark-motorart.com.