Art in the Fast Lane
American Fine Art Talks Fine Art and Fast Cars
Many people admire and collect art, but very few families truly love and appreciate art in every form, one of these select families is the Koss family. Their gallery, American Fine Art, Inc. in Old Town Scottsdale (3908 North Scottsdale Rd.), is a 12,000 square foot gallery for 19th, 20th, and 21st century European and American masters such as Picasso, Dali, Warhol, Miro, and Banksy to name a few where one can experience the artwork with world class art consultants to help guide them when investing and collecting fine art.
The gallery features every media the artists worked in and in nearly every price range. Original paintings, serigraphs, lithographs, drawings, sculptures, and unique hand-blown glass are all on display for acquisition. But Phil and his son Phillips don’t stop at just the traditional fine arts when it comes to offering up creative takes on other passion projects. Their idea was to take cars and transform them into rolling works of art.
A whole lineup of exotic cars has been carefully wrapped in beautiful artwork that brings the cars to life in ways most have never experienced before. Commissioned through the galley, the car wraps that American Fine Art has brought to life over the years have presented thought-provoking, original, and unique art themes on four wheels. Whether it is Frederick Mellinger and his fashions and pin up girls, Andy Warhol and the endangered species, his Myths, and Ads collections, or Andy’s favorite the dollar sign collection. Each car and specially designed wrap start with a theme and focus about the artist and their vision.
“Being able to transfer that vision onto a luxury supercar for all the world to see is a masterpiece in motion,” notes Koss, an avid car lover.
This June, while the galleries went quiet and saw guests sneak in to get out of the Arizona heat, rubberneckers could spot father and son racing through the Scottsdale streets in the GoldRush Rally, a cross-country journey by land and air featuring luxury and exotic cars. American Fine Art, Inc. was proud to host the first stop featuring about 100 cars from all over the world lined up on Main Street, including a 765 LT McLaren, AMG GTR Mercedes, Huracan STO Lamborghini, 812 Superfast Ferraris, Rolls-Royce Cullinans, Jaguars, Paganis, Audis R8s, and of course, a Bentley.
“The rally was truly exhilarating! Driving in a pack of supercars in an elite rally across the country is an unforgettable experience, each city is so unique. The journey is what I love most, spending an incredible time with my son creating once-in-a-lifetime stories on the road,” explains Koss.
At this year’s Goldrush rally stop in Scottsdale, among the selection of Audi’s, was a particular R8 V10 Plus model, covered in Pablo Picasso and his different periods and styles. The first side was wrapped in Picasso’s synthetic cubism, the trunk has a Bullfight, Dora Maar from the “Weeping Women” period on its roof and La Cranach along with his other lovers on the other side, with the entire front hood as the Bacchanalian feast by Picasso.
If you were on the lookout for another one of the masterpiece wrapped supercars, you might have spotted a certain Bentley Continental GT Breitling Jet Team edition featuring the works of Arizona’s own AtZ, a local urban artist with a meteoric rise to success, exclusively represented by American Fine Art, Inc. He believes in creating works that are as visually pleasing as they are philosophically and soulfully contemplative.
The car is fresh from the Gumball 3000 Rally, an international tour much like GoldRush Rally, the route spans from Toronto to Miami. This year, between 100 and 150 supercars made the 3,000-mile trek from Toronto, Canada to Miami, Florida in seven days. The rally hosts public and private events in each city it passes through along the route. The annual rally supports a variety of causes through the Gumball 3000 Foundation, including The Skatepark Project (formerly The Tony Hawk Foundation) and Laureus Sport for Good, supporting underprivileged youth around the world with community youth development programs. Other than providing a unique experience the purpose of the rally is to raise money for the Gumball Foundation, which has raised more than $4 Million for underprivileged youth.
Starting at the steps of the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto, the rally was wished luck from crowds of thousands of Canadians lucky enough to see this party on wheels which included the likes of David Hasselhoff, deadmau5, BunB, Ken Griffey Jr, Shmee1500, Daily Driven Exotics, & JWW. First stop was for lunch in Detroit at the Movement Music Festival which was a full day’s drive, after a much-needed meal and some music it was off to Indianapolis where the next morning was the world-famous Indy 500.
The tour headed for Music City, Nashville, Tennessee where progressive R&B icon and “Crazy” singer CeeLo Green performed while a fundraising event took place at the National Museum of African American Music. The latter included a charity auction of pop culture and sporting memorabilia virtually attended by skateboarder Tony Hawk. Over the next few days of driving, participants went from Nashville heading south to Bardstown, Kentucky; Talladega, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia, and Miami Florida, creating a festival of cars and music in each city. The final stage of the rally incorporated a scenic drive to Key West before returning north to cross the finish line at David Beckham’s Inter Miami DRV PNK Stadium. Every leg of the journey had a “Gumball Story” for the books made.
Once the Gumball 3000 rally was done there was no rest for this rally duo, the AtZ wrapped Bentley was loaded up into a car transport on its way to Sin City for the start of the GoldRush rally where it would meet up with its other team rally car, the Picasso wrapped Audi R8. The goldRush Rally kicked off in Las Vegas, then stopping by Scottsdale before heading for the El Dorado Hotel in Santa Fe, NM. Everyone rallied to Denver next, as the tour headed for Music City. The Cars were loaded up and transported professionally as the participants flew to Nashville, TN. The second half of the rally started on the way to Atlanta, GA traveling to St. Petersburg, FL after crossing the Florida Georgia line. Finally, the last day of driving took them to their destination Miami, FL. If you managed to catch the rallies at anyone of their stops, consider yourself lucky. These luxurious vehicles are art masterpieces themselves and are a beauty to witness. The way each car is painted and distinctly designed, the power and technology, the engines bark that causes the street windows and buildings to reverberate is an experience to remember. The way they all look and function in unison, it’s almost like an entire gallery exhibition that moves from city to city. If you didn’t experience the rallies or one of their stops to see the cars, you can always stop by American Fine Art, Inc. to look at some original art pieces that inspired the car wraps like Picasso and AtZ.
Apart from rallying across country with his son, sitting behind the wheel of exotic and artfully wrapped race cars, Phil is always working on helping collectors, museums, and the everyday art enthusiast find artwork that speaks to them.
“This year will be the best year yet! The art acquisitions and calendar are set, and we have risen the bar to a new level. We’re excited to host museum quality shows featuring works that are for sale to the public.,” notes Koss. “Nothing can beat that for us or the art community, collectors and investors alike.” “We are so excited for people to experience art and introduce those who never see fine art galleries or museums to a world of fine art. Through exposure to the master’s and bringing a new dimension to art as living moving art installations, we hope we can be the standard for in-person art discovery,” adds Koss.
American Fine Art, Inc.
Open daily Monday through Saturday, Sunday by appointment. Located at 3908 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale AZ 85251 online AmericanFineArtGallery.com and by phone 480-990-1200.