Own style is key.
And has always been. The world we live in is full of copies of copies of everything. The world of art is no exception. This is why we cherish those who dare develop their own approach and style and love them for being unique.
Of course, Likonic is not an art related site by any means so if we ever go out to look at art, it’s because the art comes round to look at cars first. Such was previously the case with Poland’s Jakub Napieraj and so is this time with Douglas Peterson-Hui.
I came across his work on Instagram and been a fan ever since. Douglas and Jakub share a special attention to the geometrics of their paintings. While with Jakub it is the geometrical interpretation of a landscape, Douglas seeks geometrical background to further enhance the display of his cars.
Well, maybe „his” is not exactly the right term as Douglas is strictly a brick shaped old style Volvo guy and his work features many different vehicles. Still, he is a very young man (as is Jakub) and so the wheeled world is wide open ahead of him yet.
Once past some Instagram gestures we stroke a conversation and I managed to invite Douglas to answer a few questions regarding his artistic fascinations and approach. Let us see how he sees the world and how this approach interacts with our prime hobby – classics.
Likonic: You are a young man, where has the interest in older cars, especially Volvos, come from?
Douglas: As a child I grew up around old Volvos. My dad had many of them, Including a 1984 244 Turbo, a 1986 740, and a 1985 240 DL. Currently, he has a 1965 Volvo 122s Amazon, a 1990 Volvo 245 DL, and a 2005 Volvo V50. As a result, a part of my interest in these cars is linked to nostalgia, as is with many younger 240 owners. Beyond nostalgia, I am drawn to the car’s durability, quality, mechanical simplicity, and boxy styling. The 240 also makes for an ideal starter classic as they are still quite affordable and there are many parts available.
L: Older Volvos are generally called bricks, is that where the geometrical art originates in your case?
D: Despite the brick like appearance of older Volvos, much of my art is the result of designing with literal bricks. Architects and architecture students constantly use geometry to design and study space. My background in architecture has played a large part in how I draw and so has the software I picked up during my studies. This includes programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator.
L: Your work could have been easily mistaken for advertising, is that on purpose?
D: Not entirely on purpose but I do take inspiration from 1950s and 60s advertisements with their bright colors and comic style drawings. I am also inspired by artists such as Jeremy Booth and Julian Montague whose artwork gives off a retro vibe.
L: Your account nickname is the Architect’s Garage and it reflects in your work, why cars and buildings?
D: I recently completed my Master of Architecture and have always been fascinated with buildings. Architects play with sun, wind, light, space, materiality, and more. The design of buildings is both an art, and a science, much like the design of cars. Furthermore, the automobile has played a role in the evolution of architecture, especially here in North America. The most obvious being the personal garage, parking structures, and gas stations. Another example would be Googie architecture, which was influenced by the automobile and the space age, featuring streamlined forms representing motion and speed. As a result, I decided to feature both automobiles and architecture in my artwork.
L: We have a broad review of cars in your art, are you still on a motoring lookout?
D: I love the wide variety of car drawing requests that I get as it makes drawing interesting for me. At the same time I get to learn something about cars I know little about or never even heard of. Being from Canada I would really like to get some requests for Volvos that were never sold in North America, including the Volvo 340, Volvo 480, Volvo 66, and the Volvo 264TE.
Thanks for the interview and I am looking forward to see your new work at @thearchitectsgarage.
Douglas Peterson-Hui hails from White Rock, British Columbia, and has recently completed his Master of Architecture at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. When not working on building projects, he draws cars, drives his 1982 Volvo 245, and practices photography. Since a young age, the world of design has fascinated him, whether it be buildings or chairs. This fascination continues to drive his passion for his work and hobbies.