Volume 2, Number 2 August 2011
Revisit with Member Artist
Jay Koka
   
There is also a huge thematic range. Koka doesn't just paint pictures of cars. More and more, the car itself is often not the center of attraction, not the reason for the work. "Clean Up" (page 31) a rare hot rod painting tells the pre-show story. "Flashing Lights" in which the driver is behind two traffic cops in Union Square, San Francisco poses the question "has she been pulled over?". "Art Imitating Life Imitating Art" with a Diablo parked on Ocean Avenue in Carmel in front of an art gallery where the painting you are looking at is endlessly repeated in the window of the gallery. Close observation also reveals that all of the paintings in the gallery are by Koka.

And with "Where's Waldo?" you have the ultimate "non-auto" automotive painting where there's no car at all, just the reflection in the water. In "Push" (previous page) Koka provides a window on his personal passion for motorcycles. And finally in "Hey, Nice Car!" (right) Koka presents his most personal work, his wife Cathy at the wheel of their Porsche.


Event organizers have also recognized Koka's ability to bring fresh new perspectives to poster art.
In the past twenty years, he has been commissioned by event giants like Pebble Beach, the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the Barrett-Jackson auctions. When organizers created a new concours at the fabled Churchill Downs, Koka created the inaugural poster art as he did when the long-running Meadow Brook Concours moved to a new venue and became the St John's Concours d'Elegance. When Nissan celebrated the 35th anniversary of their iconic "Z", Koka created the art for the worldwide launch at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. And when the Chrysler Corporation opened their new tech centre and headquarters in Rochester Michigan, Koka created "Metamorphosis", a huge 108 sq ft work for the lobby.

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