Ian Cook (artist)

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Ian Cook
Born 28 April 1983[1]
Nationality British

Ian Cook is a contemporary British artist. He became famous for his artwork which is created solely using the unique method of painting using radio-controlled cars, car tyres and toy car wheels. Ian is also known and goes by his company name 'PopbangColour'. Ian has been an avid car enthusiast since childhood and combined his passions of cars, toys and art to create complex and dynamic artworks. Ian is a trained fine artist with a first degree in Fine Art Painting from Winchester School of Art, he has a quirky edge and describes his work as a 'friendly explosion of colour' which captures attention through the unusual method of working and the premise of live performance art at automotive events.

Early life[edit]

Cook studied at Langley Secondary School, Solihull from 1994–1999. He then went to Sutton Coldfield College, where he would later teach, to study a BTEC National Diploma, for Illustration. Finally, he attended Winchester School of Art for Fine art where he received a First BA Honours degree for painting.[2] He studied at the Latvian art academy in Riga, Latvia, and it was there that he started employing vehicles in his works. In particular, while in Latvia he produced photography and collected merchandise in regards to Range Rover.[1]

For a short period he became a lecturer in fine art and visual studies at Sutton Coldfield College's design centre. [3]


To create his unique artworks, Cook spoons acrylic paint and ink onto large 2.5 x 1.5 metre Fabriano Paper and drives the radio-controlled cars over the canvas in short bursts to create the 'brush strokes'.[4] He also uses full-size car tyres for large blocks of colour and small toy car wheels for different prints and textures.[5]

He first began using this artwork style when one Christmas he received a radio-controlled Lightning McQueen and was told "not to take it down the studio and not to get paint on it". With his 'lightbulb' moment Ian took a large canvas, placed it on the floor, and applied some paint to a toy car.[6] Cook has also used a large truck to create the larger solid lines.[7]

Ian creates his artworks his studio, at the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, Warwickshire, where he is artist in resident. Cook can also been seen creating in public places across the country for shows or promotions. including Goodwood Festival of Speed, Autosport International, Salon Privé and Britcar [8]

Famous pieces[edit]

Cook's artwork has been featured on Blue Peter, Top Gear, The One Show with Chris Evans and Jessie J and painted with Lewis Hamilton on Sky Sports F1. He has a studio at the Heritage Motor Centre, Warwickshire.[9][10]

In October 2008, Cook made a portrait of Formula 1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton the size of "two London double-decker buses", which was unveiled by Tower Bridge, London.[4][11]

In March 2011 Cook featured on the ITV breakfast show Daybreak, where he created a portrait of Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley as well as the Daybreak logo.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Artist Profile Page". myartspace. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  2. ^ "Ian Cook". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2011-09-22. 
  3. ^ Suart, Paul. "Birmingham teacher Ian Cook paints a winning F1 picture – Birmingham News – News". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  4. ^ a b "Lewis Hamilton Painting, Artist Ian Cook Uses Cars Instead Of Brushes | UK News | Sky News". News.sky.com. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  5. ^ John Mahoney (2008-07-25). "British Artist Paints Using RC Cars As His Brushes". Gizmodo.com. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  6. ^ "Artist Ian Cook paints the cars". Yellowwheels.com. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  7. ^ "Artist Ian Cook uses motor vehicles to create giant image of a racing car". Metro.co.uk. 2010-06-06. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  8. ^ UK (2008-05-31). "Solihull Council – Popbang@solihull – Artist Ian Cook". Solihull.gov.uk. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  9. ^ a b "Ian Cook – Popbang Colour". Heritage Motor Centre. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ "Pop art with Popbang Colour". motormorph.com. 2010-08-18. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 

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