Artist Michael Mate Paints the Glory Days of Road Racing
Like so many car enthusiasts disillusioned by the drudgery of schoolwork, Michael Mate took full advantage of his time in study hall – not to mention the occasional stint in detention hall – to hone his skills as a car designer. What started out as pencil sketches in his notebooks eventually evolved into more sophisticated media through proper art instruction, launching him into the world of professional illustration.
If you’ve been around car magazines your whole life, or spent any time in the vintage car scene, chances are you’ve already caught a glimpse of Mate’s illustration work. Examples of his craft have been featured on the pages of Road & Track and Automobile in The States, as well as the UK’s Classic and Sports Car and France’s Autojournal. He has also illustrated the event posters for the Monterey Historic Races and the Colorado Grand rally.
Today Mate focuses primarily on oil-on-canvas paintings that depict roadracing action in the sport’s golden age, the 1950s and ‘60s. Ferraris feature prominently in the subject matter, but there are also Cobras and Jaguars, as well as the true originals like Scarab. His passion for the noble men and brutal machines of this era is obvious in his work, which often highlights the struggle between the two under challenging conditions. Perhaps no better proof of this is the fact that legendary drivers like Phil Hill, Carroll Shelby, and Jim Hall have commissioned Mate to produce paintings for their personal collections.
Michael Mate’s work can be seen and purchased at mikematestudios.com as well as at numerous vintage car events around the country.