The Da Vinci of Car Art
Mark Vinci jokingly explains that he removed the “da” in respect to the Italian artist of the 15th/16th century, but, for his car parts art, even the great Leonardo would agree he can proudly keep it.
Because of the artistry of the 30-year Valley resident, Fords and Chevys, Caddys, Beemers and other marques all receive meticulous restorations. Vinci crushes it every time he works with retired hoods, doors and trunks.
“Most of the work I make is created with the materials we see while driving: billboard paper, car parts and glass. The parts are composed into sculptures, and glass is embedded into some of the images, he explains.
He starts by collecting wrecked parts, “the more wrecked the better,” he says. He stacks up the parts, and a double roller driver smashes them into elegant ribbons of steel. Next, he acid washes and chops up the arts for individual pieces. He reassembles the parts, welding them into compositions. Then he powdercoats or finishes them with automotive paint.
Finally, his multi-faceted works are parked on the walls of Valley hotels, such as the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, the Valley Ho Hotel, Scottsdale, or in office settings in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area.
Arizona and California galleries have previously shown his work, including Gebery Gallery in Scottsdale and Venice, California, Fresh Paint Contemporary in Culver City, California, with 9 The Gallery in Phoenix and on Singluart.com.
Vinci was born in Newark, N.J., and raised in northern New Jersey in East Hanover, about 25 miles west of New York City. From an early time, he was drawing all the time. “It was about the only thing I was good at,” he recalls with a chuckle.
He earned a B.F.A. at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, where in his final year he aced a painting class, inspiring him to matriculate at the School of Visual Arts in New York City to improve his skills. A second impetus toward fine art followed when he became dissatisfied with his career as a graphic designer, even though he fared well in New York, Atlanta and Phoenix, winning four Emmys.
Automotive passion arrived through his maternal grandfather, Tony Pace, a car dealer. “I spent more time driving with him than anybody else before I learned to drive,” he recalls. “As you would expect, cars were the deal: driving to get cars, going to see cars, being in car lots, going to Jerome Avenue in the Bronx where the greatest concentration of wholesale car dealers in the Northeast was located.”
These moving memories fuel his art. “Have you ever experienced driving under an elevated subway or elevated rail line or roadway?” he asks. “The flashing of light and shadow is like watching an old movie that has a strobe effect. That’s where art comes from. And before you were the driver, you were the passenger, the one who could put your face against the window or out the window and look up at the flashing of light and shadow.”
He adds: “My work is dynamic visual abstraction about urban movement: transient visual moments captured at high speed, snippets and fragments framed and defined by the cityscape, quickly forgotten, yet leaving a residual imprint that is an unconscious distillation of our collective experience.”
To inquire about Vinci carworks for your home, office or mancave, contact him at [email protected] or visit Singulart.com. Some work is available by appointment at 9 The Gallery, 515 East Grant Street in Phoenix, 480.454.5929.