The official poster for the 2018 Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance is an elegant representation of three variants of Citroen’s DS 19 by esteemed Brit artist (and car enthusiast) Barry Rowe.
The original piece will be shown in the Automotive Fine Arts Society exhibit on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links. The AFAS show is sponsored by The Lincoln Motor Co.
This is the 21st consecutive commission given to Rowe by the Pebble Beach organization. And this year’s opportunity, as Barry describes it, “was a most enjoyable endeavor, painting DS 19s with their vibrant colours and curvey shapes. The setting is along the coast, with Bixby Bridge in the background.” (Rowe is an English native and currently resides in England’s Devon County, along the southwestern coast known for its sandy shores.)
The DS nameplate is from the French word for goddess, Dé-esse.
Citroen and its DS were minor footnotes in America’s mid-century automotive scene, but the DS — introduced in the fall of 1955 and produced through spring 1975 — was a technology innovator. At its launch, it was the first production car to use disc brakes and one of its signature technologies was the hydropneumatic suspension with automatic leveling and adjustable ride height.
Its stance was awkward looking with a narrower rear track than the front.
As an “executive’s car,” it had aerodynamic styling, power steering, a semi-automatic transmission, inboard disc brakes and a fiberglass roof, which trimmed weight and lower the center of gravity for better handling.
“I always look forward to being part of the Pebble Beach Concours,” said Rowe. “From the spectacular backdrop to the gorgeous cars, its simply the most marvelous place to be each August. The magic of Pebble Beach is simply undeniable.”
Rowe studied graphic design at the Coventry School of Art and Design. From there, he worked as an art director in the advertising field before pursuing his passion for painting automotive artwork, becoming a freelance artist in 1966.
His career jumpstarted after receiving the Sotheby’s Art Award for his portrait of Argentinian champion Juan Fangio. This led to commissions from Louis Vuitton of Paris, Royal Mail, Royal Doulton and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. As well as his many poster commissions, Rowe has captured ten “Awards of Excellence” and the “Lincoln Award” in 2006 at the annual AFAS exhibit during the Pebble Beach Concours.
In addition to his automotive art, Rowe is an avid enthusiast. Growing up near the Jaguar factory, Barry would ride his bicycle to watch Jaguar’s C-Type and later D-Type racecars under construction.
He also is an avid F1 and vintage racing fan and among the collectible cars he has owned are a 1931 supercharged Lagonda, a 1929 Riley Nine Tourer and a Morgan.
Original pieces from Rowe’s long career can be seen in “Atmosphere and Light: The Paintings of Barry Rowe.” More information about Barry Rowe and his artwork can be found at www.barryrowe.com.
About the Automotive Fine Arts Society
AFAS was first established in 1983 by a group of artists who are acknowledged by critics to be among the best in their field. Members work in many diverse mediums including oil, watercolors, acrylics, wood, gouache, pen & ink, clay and metal. AFAS and its members participate in select shows across the country including the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Dana Point Concours d’Elegance and the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Additional information about AFAS is available at www.autoartgallery.com.