Art Garage Presents: Keith Kaucher
Best known Grand National Roadster Show and Fresno Autorama winning designer, Keith Kaucher restyles cars with a nostalgic design ethic without forgetting that this is 2011 and modern attributes in design and performance are available. However, this column isn’t about his custom automotive design capabilities. It is about his artistic side and some recent work he has created for your garage WALLS.
There is no doubt that the work shown here has a strong focus on the cars. Works such as A&W, Snake Eyes and Starfire are very much portraits of customs and hot rods which Keith excels at. But, what I like about this new body of work are the more cultural and historic inspired pieces such as Little Surfer Girl, Black Widow, Hellbound, and Amoco. The latter piece actually features his ex’s legs!
However, one of my favorites is Olympic Drive-In. Not only was the Olympic LA’s FIRST Drive-In Theater. It opened in 1934 shortly after the World’s first drive opened in Camden New Jersey in 1933. Olympic Drive-In opened with “Handy Andy” starring Will Rogers and closed in 1973. The site is now a Cadillac dealer. Keith chose the subject of the fond memories going there with his parents, and his brother, and echoes Santa Monica’s and West Los Angeles’s rich hot rod history with the name and decal Quincy Automotive and Engle Cams on the 392 powered ’32 pick up.
Another favorite is Honolulu Hauler ’32 Ford sedan delivery show rod is a sample of his model box art. The color pallet, composition and scale tell a great story. I can hear the bamboo shaped zoomies echoing off the giant surf as the buggy pulls up to Kelbo’s for a pineapple burger before hittin’ the waves.
You’ve heard it from me before, that a picture must tell a story. Yet not give the complete story away. Good art, in my opinion, allows each viewer a chance for them to make their own story from the work. When they are able to bring their past experiences into it, then they will connect with it more. And I certainly connect with Keiths work. I never got a chance to go to the Olympic Drive-in but sure had some good times at Hwy 39 off Beach blvd, and Stadium Drive-in in Orange.