A Masterful Combination of Paint and Photography
Photography and art by Markus Haub
Mr. Markus Haub is an automotive artist who splits his time between Barcelona, Spain and Mainz, Germany. He trained as a car designer at Germany’s famous Pforzheim University and then went on to work for Volkswagen and Renault. Nowadays, Markus spends about three-quarters of his time working on automotive art and the rest on freelance design work, photography, and writing for various websites or magazines.
Q: Was it hard to start your career as an automotive artist?
A: No, it just happened. I always painted in parallel to my job as car designer. Then, in 2007, I left Renault and started my own business. As I had more free time, I was painting more than before but not only cars. I began painting cityscapes of Barcelona or New York (which I still enjoy). Eventually, I painted a series about the Le Mans cars from the movie of the same name and then started the “Racing Legends” which now number almost 400 pieces. Over the years, I made a lot of contacts with car collectors and galleries all over Europe that sell my work. In April, I’ll have my next exhibition in Düsseldorf (Galerie Kellermann).
Q: What are your favorite subjects?
A: I like the cities as much as the cars. They’re two completely different subjects, but its always about the color, contrast, texture, and composition. I look for the beauty in the image that I’m using and try to express a certain mood or moment by adding color or text.
Q: How did your passion for painting and vintage cars begin?
A: I began painting during my studies, but not very much. Then, in 2000, when I moved to a big flat in Barcelona I had a small room to do “things.” I also felt motivated to create stuff outside my work as a designer. Something unrelated to cars that combined digital photography and painting. My first works were based on images from movies like The Fifth Element or The Million Dollar Hotel with Milla Jovovich. Actually, Patrick Le Quement (Renault’s head of design at the time) was my first client. I had some works on display in our design studio and he got them.
I always liked vintage cars, but I only painted them randomly until 2007. Over the last few years, I’ve visited more and more classic car events and am somehow becoming more addicted.
Q: What techniques do you use for your paintings?
A: It’s a mixture of digital and manual techniques. After the digital process I print the image on paper and make a collage on canvas. Then I scratch, brush, draw, cut and use all kinds of different paints and pencils. In the end, I selectively use a glossy varnish to give it more depth. There are lots of little creative accidents and until it’s finished I don’t know whether the result will look good or not. It’s always a great moment to see it finished!
Q: Do you own or aspire to own a vintage car (and which one)?
A: I have two old Porsche 911s: the sand beige F-model SWB from 1968 and one of the last 964 from 1993. It’s a Carrera 4, which I’ve used as a daily driver for nearly ten years. I’ve done around 100,000km with it. It’s a great car for long distance drives. Very fast, low consumption (for 250HP) and practical too. I also have a Ferrari 308 GT4 from 1977. The Ferrari was always my dream since I was a teenager and three years ago it became true.
Q: If you do what is your favorite road and companion?
A: I live in a wine-producing area and really enjoy driving it here on small and curvy roads. Especially in the late afternoon when the sun is going down and the light becomes soft.
A great companion is always my blog-colleague Thomas. He is also a car designer and we studied together in Pforzheim. We take part in plenty of classic car rallies and that’s how you usually find the nicest roads in the area. We went to east Germany from Hamburg to Berlin along the lakes. Last year, we participated in the Austiran Silvretta Classic Rallye with the SWB and drove over 650km on wonderful mountain roads. One went through Swizerland from Davos over the Flüela Pass, up to 2400m, then down to Nauders. Fantastic!
Q: Do you have an all-time favorite car?
A: There are soooooo many and it’s always changing too. But I am a huge Ferrari fan and especially love the 80s. If I have to name one (or two) I would say the Testarossa or F40. But if I’m allowed to name a few more: the Ferrari BB512, 250 GTO or 250LM, 275 GTB/C, Maserati A6GCS Coupe, De Tomaso Mangusta, Porsche 917, 907 or 550 Coupe, Aston Martin DP214, Lamborghini Countach LP400, Renault Alpine A110 1600 or the race car Alpine A210!
Q: Where do you like or would you like to see your art displayed most?
A: I like when they are exhibited in galleries and get to see how they interact with the space and the people. But I’d also like to see where my clients hang my work. I don’t get to see that very often. Recently, I visited a friend who bought some bigger works. She has a beautiful, modern house where my paintings looked fantastic. They went well with the architecture and had lots of space to breathe.
Q: Do you have a favorite motorsports era?
A: Motorsport in recent areas was just crazy, very dangerous, the drivers were heroes, the cars very distinctive. Everything was less professional but more authentic and passionate. I love the Mille Miglia in the 50s when they raced on public roads, but also 60s and 70s when the first sponsors appeared with great graphics on the cars: the Martini Porsche or Lancia and the Gulf Porsche 917 or Ford GT40 are legendary. I think the Le Mans races in the late ’60s/early ’70s must have been very exciting to watch.
If you’d like to check out some of his writing, click here.
If you’d like to see more of his art, click here.
For his personal site or to commission art, click here.