Best Art on Two Wheels (2004)
Charles Arvin, Arvin Art
Like comic books and graphic novels, customized motorcycle and auto art is underrated. The skill required to paint a flawless pinstripe by hand or to render Elvis' snarl on the body of a Gold Wing calls for the most delicate and gifted touch. Charles Arvin has that touch and is one of the most prolific "customizers" in the area. Sport bike stunters commission his work on their two-wheeled loves. He's created the most hypnotizing collage of American flags one has ever seen on a gas tank. Custom-car collectors call on him to flame the fenders of classics from the 1950s and 1960s. But Arvin's work isn't restricted to vehicles. Arvin also has to his credit a collection of paintings done of World War II fighter planes, and his wildlife paintings have a dynamic play of color and shadow, while every hair is represented and every leaf is crinkled just so. Arvin's portfolio feels like that of a tattoo artist. People entrust him with marking things dear to them, and his commitment to his work seems so much more dire, more serious than a painter of canvas works.