Interview: Cape Town Artist Glynn Naidoo

With a lifelong passion for cars (and bikes) and a talent for art, Capetonian Glynn Naidoo now creates stunningly detailed automotive artworks from a mixture of materials, but specialises in aluminium foil.

Like many artists Glynn seems to have a supernatural ability to shut the world out. A rotary-powered Mazda RX-7 is screaming its lungs out mere metres from his "studio", but calmly and precisely he finishes the detailing on his latest piece, a modern Ford Mustang, while answering my questions.

"It's a passion I've had since young, for cars and bikes... in fact I'd say bikes first," Glynn explains while continuing his embossing work. "I also worked in the motor trade for over 10 years, and at the same time I've also had this passion for art, innovation and materials. Oh, and customising. I used to belong to a customising club, and we used to convert Bedford vans out in Hout Bay," he recalls. "You know, we fitted bubble windows and so on to these vans, and it (my art) progressed from there."

One of Glynn's latest creations is this A4-sized Karmann Ghia piece.

"I guess you can say I've always been an artist. I remember at school I used to draw pictures of Beetles and Kombis on kids' jeans, because they'd ask me to. And using a magnifying glass, I'd create pictures of cars and bikes on old wooden tomato boxes." 

A big variety of his own artworks, in many different mediums, brighten up his grey studio wall. "I always liked innovating... trying new things. That's how I got into this new (aluminium embossing) medium... because it's different and challenging."

A hobby becomes a job

At present Glynn is focused on creating car-themed artworks that feature aluminium embossing. These pieces, available in A4, A3, A2 and A1 sizes, take many man-hours to complete. "An A4 takes around 10 to 12 hours," he explains. "It has to be hand-drawn, then transferred and embossed... that's where the time factor comes in."

Most difficult piece? Glynn points to this Mercedes-Benz, mostly because of detail embossing to its grille and wheels.

He points to a stunning piece depicting a Mercedes-Benz W108 in Berlin as his most challenging work thus far. "There's a lot of detail that went into that grille... the wheels and so on," he says. "I'd say my skills when it comes to customising real cars are helping me with these artworks, because it's like I do the same thing, but in miniature. You know... you're not just drawing, you have to visualise where the curves are."

Indeed, just like cars they depict, Glynn's artworks are hard to photograph, because they have bulges, edges and shine... They look alive. I wonder how long it will take him to do a DS in front of the Eiffel Tower...

A selection of Glynn's works is available for sale right here.

CONTACT GLYNN

If you want to commission an artwork from Glynn he can be reached at glynn1009@gmail.com

You can also follow him on Instagram here.


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