studioVerhees

a queer life,
drawn with cars

My aunt is an incredible woman and she leads a fantastic life. Like me, she loves cars. One day it struck me how, funnily enough, there’s always a link between the car she drives and the way she navigates life. Her love life, to be more precise.

And let me tell you, she drove a lot of different cars!

 

I started writing down her stories and drawing the cars that featured in them. Like this pink Renault Estafette she drove when she shared her possessions, her obsessions and her lovers in an activist queer commune in the 70’s.

show me your car
and I'll tell you who you are

People have a strong relationship with their cars, which are hardly ever just a way to get from A to B. Just like clothes, cars show who you are or aspire to be, which groups you associate with, how you balance beauty and practicality. They express their owner’s status, ideals and taste. Your car is an extension of your identity.

 

My aunt probably never thought about it in this way, but when I made a timeline of the cars she drove, it sketched a clear portrait of her, particularly of her love life.

Care to guess why she had a car with three front seats?

my wonderful aunt
and her love life

As one does with imaginary friends, I created the one that I needed: a strong, non-male role model to show me where to find freedom or how to create it for myself. Helping me to avoid fitting in the tight boxes that society had prepared for me.

My aunt’s relationships are mostly with women but other genders are not excluded. Her commitments range from closed to open, from monogamous to polyamorous – and sometimes her commitment is just to herself.

Auntie’s self-realisation started when she got her first car. Within a week she drove it to a pop festival, painted it in the colors of the rainbow, then -after coming home- witnessed it being destroyed for its looks. This violent act marked a painful break with her past but also was the creation of… my aunt!

the calendar
for 2022

To make my project tangible and shareable, I extracted 13 stories from the project as a whole and created this calendar. The cover page and each of the 12 months feature an illustration of one car and the original story of that episode, accompanied by some extra illustrations.

Like the month of july that talks about my aunt’s wedding. And how the choice for the rare and futuristic Stout Scarab represented her ideas about marriage in general and “gay marriage” in particular.

cover

july, front

july, back

details: 12 months and some extras on 28 pages full color A4 portrait wire-O bound with hook

where to get your calendar?

join the mailing list

The drawings are done, the stories are written and the design of the calendar is reaching its final stage. I’m now finetuning and soon setting up production. Want to stay informed about the progress, the final product and the moment it’s ready for shipping? Join the mailing list!

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pimped purple Volvo Amazon with gold trimmings, not part of the 2022 calendar but what a story