Kicking Tires

Artist Statement

The phrase kicking tires or kicking the tires is derived from the automobile industry and generally means to assess the quality of something before buying it. For this exhibition, the title references my interest in observation of mechanical objects from the past and in some cases their history in pop culture. 

I am drawn to these everyday objects of the past for their aesthetics: simplicity of form, colour, and character. I enjoy painting machines like farm tractors because they are painted with fun, bright colours that make them pop out in their surroundings, and farmers can often identify a brand of a tractor by the colour they are painted. The tractor also represents an era where mechanical objects were less complicated and easier to repair by their owners, providing farmers with greater independence. 

In the case of the Ford Pinto, I was interested in the story of how a simple adjustment of the mechanical design of the car could have easily prevented the horrific accidents that the car became known for in 1970’s pop culture. The painting that I developed from the story of the Pinto, reflects a bright orange, popular in the 1970s and a drawing schematic that shows how the safety of the car could be improved by moving the fuel tank. 

These paintings are a continuation of my exploration of identifying beauty in everyday objects and their place in society’s past.