Featured artist – Jeremy Dickinson
Want your lavishly restored classic made into a play-worn toy? This is your man
Classic car collectors pay large sums to have their precious metal returned to new-born perfection. It’s a surprise, then, to hear that some pay Jeremy Dickinson to bash around their precious metal. Not in ‘the flesh’, but in paint, visually turning a priceless Aston Martin into one of the battered Dinky toys which are his prime subject.
An obsessive toy car collector as a child, he hasn’t stopped yet. In his studio are plan chests packed with thousands of Dinkys and Corgis, not a mint example in sight.
“The cars are stored by colour in the drawers, making lovely patterns” he says. “Habitat once did posters of that. I go to flea markets and toy fairs looking for nicely play-worn cars and I especially like the 1950s and ’60s ones – they have years of play on them and the patina is wonderful.”
What he puts on canvas, in oils, is exact representations of the chips, scuffs and missing wheels of die-cast cars, arranged in blocks, circles or teetering stacks, often in a colour spectrum.
Although the individual cars are almost photographic Jeremy works only from life, fixing the cars carefully in place and lighting them lovingly. “The lighting is vital because these cars used some wild colours like mauve and apple green and I have to get them right – there’s always an expert who’ll spot the wrong shade!” Even a police car jumping a pile of buses is painstakingly placed on a backboard with Plasticine.
Dickinson has held exhibitions across Europe, Japan and the US. Aston Martin invited him to immortalise a large display of models at Newport Pagnell and the owner of Lego commissioned him to distress his full-size cars on canvas.
CLASSIC POSTERS TURN ADVERTS TO ART
DKW rally success: 1960 French poster boasting about DKW winning a rally at Lyon. 84x59cm. £350. www.antikbar.co.uk
Shelby accessories: Original 1960s poster for Shelby American parts, 22x34in, said to feature Ann-Margret. $1385.www.vintageautoposters.com
Chimay event: Poster for 29th Grand Prix des Frontières at Chimay, Easter 1959. Linen backing, 24x18in. £425.www.antikbar.co.uk
Kanon Loppet event:1963, run to F1 rules, and won by Jim Clark. Illustration features an Aston Martin DBR-1, 24x 39in. $325. www.vintageautoposters.com