Open Bonnet 5/10

Edition of 10 ~ 30×20 inches


  • From a limited edition of 10 archival photographs
  • Signed and numbered by artist Aaron Knight
  • Image: 30×20 inches/76×51 cm
  • Paper: 32×22 inches/81×56 cm



Pin-up nude

The combination of a female personality and an automobile appears in pin-ups and advertisements throughout the decades. This homage to the pin-up nude sits on the headlamp of a 1961 Jaguar XK120SE open two-seater convertible. Barely visible behind her hip is the rejuvenated engine of this classic automobile. The cold luster of colors on the floor are reminiscent of the patina of aged metal. The gorgeous, sweeping lines of the roadster luxuriously remind the viewer of opulence, prosperity, and the beauty of the female form. The smooth glow of warm light that fades into the cold shadows sets a quiet but building tension, anticipating an impending outpouring of power and passion. Shadows wrap around the delicate contours of her chest and abdomen, defining her curves and muscles.

Just before the artist entered art school, he saw an exhibit of the Jaguar E-type at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Although initially skeptical, he learned to appreciate product design as an art form. With a newfound respect for automobile designers, the artist was inspired to include car bodies in his artwork. Similarly, there was a time he did not consider the pin-up nude to be worthy of study as an art form, but the work of Hajime Sorayama changed his mind about that as well.

The lines of the vintage Jaguar E-type convertible drophead coupe are considered by some, including rival founder Enzo Ferrari, to have created the most beautiful automobile in the world. The woman in this pinup image has also received accolades for her poise and elegance. The combined inspiration led to this pin-up nude/automobile pairing. As with the car, the beauty of her body is due to the way the lines work proportionally and in concert, rather than the sum of her curves.

The use of negative space sets up a wedge-shaped composition where the sports car and nude woman inject themselves as glowing curves in the darkness. The angle of view is subtly low, bringing the viewer into the contours of the automobile and the figure rather than gazing down on them.

This artwork has been purchased by collectors in Texas, Missouri, Japan, and Belgium. It is often paired with a motorcycle pinup nude photograph of the same woman.

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