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Cheryl Kelley’s Photo-Realistic Paintings of Classic Muscle Cars Will Blow Your Mind

They look like high-definition photos enhanced in Photoshop, but in reality Cheryl Kelley’s muscle-car inspired artworks are just really good hyper-realistic paintings. Using high-gloss oil paints the Texas-based artist  manages to capture the beauty of these iconic vehicles from a bygone era better than any camera ever could.

Cheryl Kelley has always been drawn to beautiful classic cars. During her childhood, she used to play with Hot Wheels toy cars and remembers being fascinated by their delicate curves. Now all grown up, Cheryl drives her very own 1977 Corvette, and has managed to make a name for herself in the art world by painting photo-realistic portraits of muscle cars. The talented artist finds her inspiration at classic car shows and museums, where she takes high-resolution photos of vintage Chevrolets, Camaros or Corvettes that she later uses as guidelines for her impressive creations. Working with glossy oil paints on aluminum panels, Kelley is somehow able to reproduce not only the tiniest details of the vehicles, but also every reflection, ultimately producing masterpieces that look more realistic than their photographic references.

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“The first thing that I am drawn to is the beauty. I find myself getting lost in the reflections of beautiful cars when I stop at traffic lights,” Cheryl says about her fascination with classic muscle cars. Her paintings are not about the subjects’ horsepower or functionality, but about the exquisite aesthetics that have captured car fanatics’ imaginations for decades. ‘These big engine cars, seemingly fueled by raw testosterone, were ironically most definitely feminine in form. As a twentieth century American icon, the muscle car is remembered for its speed and power. My paintings are about the feminine sensuality of the surfaces, the Mel Ramos-like perfection of female form,” – Cheryl Kelley.

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Photos © Cheryl Kelley