The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown is now displaying one of its most unique paintings to date, and it was created by a former automotive designer.
The painting “Horse Power” was created by Peter Maier, a photo realist artist. Maier said it took about five months to complete the 1,000 pound portrait of the Budweiser Clydesdale horse named Ben.
The painting, which measures 9 feet high and 11 feet wide, is done with automotive paint on specially fabricated aluminum.
Maier is a former automotive designer for General Motors and said he always wanted to be the first artist to use the special paint for artwork.
“The paint I use is supplied to me exclusively by DuPont. I’m the only artist they’ve ever given this paint to. It’s an experimental, water-born, automotive paint,” said Maier. “It gives depth and saturation of color you just won’t get with aluminum oil.”
The Butler has shown works by Maier in the past, but museum Director Louis Zona said this exhibit is unique.
“When we heard that he had painted a life-size horse, not only just a horse, but a Clydesdale, and he did it with automobile lacquers, it was just too much,” said Zona. “We had to have it here at the Butler.”
“Horse Power” will be on exhibit until Sept. 30. The artist is looking for a permanent home for the painting once the Butler exhibit is over.