When Marco Marinello bought my first four paintings in 2006, I didn’t know that I would spend the next decade as a professional fine artist. I couldn’t have imagined that my hobby would turn into a career that would lead to collaborations with iconic brands such as Le Mans, McLaren, Porsche and McQueen. Even as the fourth-generation painter in my family, I never thought that following my passion could provide me with so many great opportunities. Somehow I made through the first decade and I’m full of ideas for the next.
Today original Hunziker paintings are on permanent display at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Porsche’s North American headquarters, the Porsche Club of America’s headquarters, and in some of the greatest private car collections in the world. These days my commission schedule might be booked almost a year in advance, but this wasn’t always the case: In the early days, I would deliver a painting without knowing when or where the next sale would materialize. The mortgage was late on more than one occasion, but my loving wife, Heather Norwood, never discouraged me from pursuing my passion. She always stood by me and put her entrepreneurial spirit to work. And if it hadn’t been for the support of a few early patrons, support which continues to this day, I might not be where I am.
“…he calls his style: Period Correct…” – Stephan Lombard, Sports Car Market magazine, 2009
When I couldn’t find automotive art work that I liked for my own walls, I created my own. Look at my first painting. Sure, it’s a bit rough and the composition isn’t very dynamic—but the basics are there. Typography, high contrast, bold background color, one or two accent colors with the addition of black and white. Creating something that had already been done never interested me: I knew a professional fine artist could only establish himself with his own unique style. What I didn’t know was how many doors my style would open for me.
All that from pushing paint around a canvas
Projects, licensing and partnership deals with the likes of Porsche, Le Mans, James Hunt, Gulf Racing, McLaren, BRM Chronographes and McQueen are indicators of success. While I’m extremely proud of these accomplishments, I’ve found a deeper sense of validation in the personal relationships and unusual experiences my work has provided me. I’ve stepped into Butzi Porsche’s private office, flogged race cars for laps on end, been on track with Mark Webber and Patrick Long and driven multi-million dollar cars. I’ve met people who I had long admired and now I am lucky enough to call many of them friends and colleagues. Sometimes I still can’t believe it all came from pushing paint around a canvas.
The value of art
Art has given me everything in my life, and for that I’m deeply grateful. I’m also aware of other artists, many of whom are struggling. We live in an age where art, in all forms, is readily available and freely consumed. The symptom of free movies, free books, free photos, and free music are evident: The effort of the artist is no longer valued. Technology makes everyone an artist and everything is art. Instead of a craftsman, the artist has turned into a pitch man. While it is becoming more and more difficult for an artist to protect their work and to convey its value, it’s not impossible. I’d like to think I’m living proof of that.
I’m embarking on a project that will highlight the tangible value of art and celebrate the intrinsic value of creativity: By trading my art for things people never think twice about paying for.
Join me for project: