Ruben Duran

I grew up in San Jose, California, immersed in car culture. Back then, low-riders, old bombs and mini-trucks cruised downtown streets at night, while muscle cars raced from light to light in the suburbs. As a kid, I marveled at that stuff, and when I took an interest in art, I drew inspiration from it. However, it wasn’t until I began attending car shows that I discovered my true calling….the hot rod.

By the time I got to college, I knew art was going to be my future. What I didn’t know was how much of a role hot rods would play in shaping my career. I started out as a transportation design major, but I found it to be too strict for my taste. I soon found my way to fine arts and began to study under painter Robert Chiarito ( a car guy, himself), who actually encouraged me to use hot rods and classic cars in my work. I also began to study such artists as Robert Bechtle and Norman Rockwell, and I tried to soak up as much as I could about the history of hot rods.

Since art school, I have stayed true to my calling and continue to create hot rod art. My works have been published in several on-line and print magazines and have been in a few gallery shows to boot. To this day, I am always encouraged by the words Professor Chiarito once told me….”If you paint what you know and love, you’ll always be successful”. Definitely words to live by.