About the artist
Harold James Cleworth is probably the most well known automotive artist working today. His posters have sold worldwide and his limited-edition prints have increased in value as much as 800 percent since first being introduced.
Born in the industrial north of England during the Second World War, he quickly developed a love for the aesthetics of machinery, and began painting the local “Orwellian” landscapes. Several one-man shows were held in local pubs and libraries during his teenage years.
Graduating from the prestigious Manchester College of Art in 1967, he moved to London to work for Decca Records, illustrating the first album covers for the RollingStones, The Who, and other new groups.
In 1972, frustrated with the London scene, a trip to California convinced him to stay and begin his career as a fine artist, choosing the automobile, his first love since childhood, as his muse. A series of posters followed, amongst them the black 300 SL gullwing Mercedes, which rapidly became the most popular automotive image in an emerging market.
The Chase Manhattan Bank of Zurich bought his first original, and private collectors soon began to commission him to paint portraits of their Bugattis, Duesenbergs, and Ferraris. Galleries invited him to exhibit in San Francisco, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Carmel.
The press discovered him, stories appeared in all automotive journals, AutoWeek dubbed him “the painter laureate of the car,” and the Los Angeles Times ran his life story.
Corporate commissions followed from Ford, Chevrolet, Saab, Isuzu, and Lincoln, all of whom desired portraits to introduce their new models.
Cleworth has firmly established himself as one of the worlds leading “auto-biographers” whose trademark superrealism has become instantly recognizable, and whose 40 year dedication to the subject has proved enormously successful.