Being drawn into the car culture in college, Mo Faraz pulls his inspiration from many areas such as his visits to the BMW, Mercedes and Porsche factories and the French 24 hours Le Mans Race.
I noticed your website. I love your idea and think you are doing good and hard work. I hope that I can be a part of your project as it grows! Online-only galleries are so valuable. Automotive art deserves a bigger space in the wider art scene. Some people don’t even know that this type of art exists. Your style is so unique. My compliments.
I launched my website in May and released this series of artwork. They are focused around BMW cars. One of the reasons I chose the BMW series is that’s what I drive and have driven for a decade now!
I graduated with a degree in public art and one of the most interesting parts of my story is my background in a variety of disciplines. I try to pull from many different areas for my inspiration. Some of the areas that I’m fortunate to have been a part of include architecture, sculpture, and photography. But I’ve always had a passion for vehicles. Throughout college I owned a couple of BMWs – a 2002 first and now a coupe. I was very fortunate to meet a lot of great people and become a part of car culture during college.
I did a Europe tour; visited the BMW factory in Munich, the Mercedes factory in Sindelfingen, the Porsche factory in Zuffenhausen. I then continued to Italy where I was fortunate to visit museums and racetracks and visited France for the 24 hours in Le Mans. There is such incredible culture in those places. It’s all about ideas.
What were you looking for? Was there something specific you were searching for?
I needed more information! I was in college back then, in my early twenties. I was searching for inspiration. I had had years of owning cars. Traveling makes you curious. I didn’t have a specific goal so much as to go and see, see the shops and the artwork and what people were doing. I wanted to understand where these beautiful old cars sat in history.
My father had me interested in European cars. I was born in Iran but my dad owned a couple BMWs as I grew up and he was always encouraging me to gravitate toward European cars. I owned several European cars growing up. Older cars have very unique style. I feel like each car has a different personality. From the interior to the overall design, each is special.
Is that something that you find lacking in newer vehicles?
Yes! In fact, that is my whole aim behind making these prints.
After I came back from Europe, I went to the Art Centre in Pasadena. I spent six months there and I find that they are more focused on designing for a person – ergonomics and cup holders. There are many rules today that are important and based in safety. I come from a time where cars are just cars. I learn design from them.
I feel that modern cars are losing their uniqueness and their aggression. I created my prints to show people older cars in a different light. Classic car culture is shifting a little. I see a greater focus on business and anniversaries and trademarks. I think it’s important but the excitement and passion needs to come forward now and then to remind everyone why we love them. It’s okay not to focus on technology. All of the information this technology is based on is from an earlier era, when we pushed our vehicles to learn about them. I feel that it is important to remember where we came from. My art is a tribute to that period.
With my artwork "Quantum Click" I expressed this and how the basic car technology has been digitized (the bit-code behind the car) and embedded in a chip.
You seem to have a very clear picture of where automotive art and design are. Do you see a role for yourself in future car designs?
I am highly influenced by Italian designs. I look to them for artistry in the car design. They influence my art and me so deeply and I would feel so privileged to have any impact on newer designs. Older European styles hold much more substance for me. I want to be part of automotive culture in a way that evolves naturally.
When I first looked at your work, I thought it was an old BMW advertising. Upon closer inspection, of course I realized it was not. It has the combination of vintage advertising and personal editorial. How did you develop this style?
For the, the design aspect of things was highly influential. It’s not a watercolour art and it’s not pure advertising. I wanted for people to look at my work and make a quick 1-2-3 read – in this case: subject-story-composition. I also believe that less is more and what I leave out is just as important as what I put in.
I studied printmaking and a variety of other mediums like design, illustration, and art. One thing I really learned from being there was that less is more. I hope that the simplicity gives me flexibility and affordability. I think art should be for everyone to enjoy so that we can all be involved in the story and the message. When the old BMWs first came out, the ones that I bought and owned, they were high quality but BMW also tried to make them affordable. That’s something I want to reflect in my art. And so far, I’ve been successful with that. It’s important for people to enjoy art without penalty.
That’s wonderful. You’re providing a low-risk opportunity to be a part of a very up-and-coming scene. What is your vision moving forward?
One area I would love to explore is motorcycles. Currently, I’m working on four prints and would like to encompass both contemporary and vintage motorcycles. I love the BMW bikes and am feeling very excited about having the opportunity to work on that. For future projects, I’m interested in representing cars that are not often the subject of automotive art. Mercedes and Porsche have incredible art behind them.
Right now I am a fulltime artist, which is really wonderful. I’m having a lot of fun and it’s turning out quite well for me. I’ve only got three prints available online – all of my limited and special editions have sold out online. I’ve put a lot of work into it and it is turning out well.
Mo Faraz is definitely an artist to keep an eye on. His first limited editions print sold out within a few days and I am confident these prints will become collector’s items. His artwork is also available on t-shirts. This is his website www.mofaraz.com.
Stay tuned with CarArtSpot since we will be the first to let you know of new works by Mo Faraz.