There’s no doubt America has a love affair with its cars and motorcycles.

It’s on display when your neighbor spends every Saturday morning scrubbing his shiny Prius, or your friends take their restored vintage car out for a Sunday afternoon drive, or proud car parents hover over their vehicles during car shows.

The sleek machines are the focus of “Luster,” a traveling museum exhibit that opens Saturday at Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center in Pueblo. It’s up through Sept. 29.

“Cars have been ubiquitous in American culture since the birth of the car,” said David Wagner, exhibit curator and tour director. “It captured the imagination of the public, and if you look back to old films, or you think about songs, or any kind of media or commerce, they’re part of American culture.”

The exhibit offers more than 55 paintings by 15 photorealists and hyperrealists from around the country who specialize in depicting automobiles and motorcycles. New York City gallery owner Louis Meisel coined the term photorealism in the late ‘60s, after observing artists who created paintings that were photographic in appearance. Hyperrealists take photorealism a step further.

“You can think in digital terms,” said Wagner. “There’s a higher saturation of pixels.”

Wagner began working on the show in 2016 when he couldn’t find evidence of a similarly themed exhibit. He sought out works by artists at the top of their careers, including A.D. Cook, Randy Ford, Allan Gorman, Marc Jones, Cheryl Kelley and Lory Lockwood.

Cook’s 2000 “Indian Summer” is all shiny red chrome, its enamel paint living up to the “Luster” of the exhibit. Randy Ford’s 1989 “1950s” painting features a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado that reflects in the light, while Gorman’s “Ruby & Sapphire” from 2014 depicts a pair of 2014 Harley-Davidson Road Kings. Kelley gets a lot of attention for her 2016 painting “Blue Corvette,” of a blue/black Sting Ray circa 1965.

“She’s well-known in circles of painters who produce these kinds of paintings,” said Wagner. “She’s highly collectible. She’s a virtuosic painter.”

Jennifer Mulson, The Gazette, 636-0270, jen.mulson@gazette.com

Contact the writer: 636-0270

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