Carlo Demand was born on November 21, 1921 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany to a French father and a German mother. Carlo Demand attended the first race at Germany’s famed Nurburgring when he was five. His first drawing was done at the age of three. His family encouraged his interests in art and machinery. Uncles surrounded him with then exotic machinery including a Chenard-Walcker, an Austro-Daimler and an American Buick and De Soto. His German uncle took him to airplane and auto races and supplied him with toy cars which served as playthings and models for his art. A sketchbook exists which Carlo started when about 6 years old. His early drawings included cars scenery, cowboys and Indians and portraits of the family.
At airshows, Carlo witnessed Rickenbacker, Udet, and other famed pilots of the day. He toured a Dornier Do X and he experienced a 15 minute flight around the city at age eleven. The fare was fifty cents.
At the age of 16 he was enrolled in the prestigious Staedel Academy of Art in Frankfurt. The school’s usual minimum age requirement was 18 years. He spent 5 years at the Staedel as a master student and also worked for periodicals, sports clubs, magazines, newspapers, industrial firms and the like.
His first published drawing was a charcoal for a Frankfurt newspaper in 1938. It featured a Mercedes W-154 Grand Prix Car.
Famed German artist/illustrators, Hans Liska and Theo Metejko, served as Carlo’s most profound influences. Their work was easily accessible in Germany’s most popular weekly, Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung (BIZ). The frenzied interaction between man and machine best illustrated in their detailed charcoal drawings characterizes the work of all three. Carlo’s library contained numerous technical reference books but only four artbooks: Das Theo Metejko Buch and three Hans Liska sketchbooks.
Carlo was drafted into the military in 1942 and served the German army in Frankfurt, Poland and the western front. He was captured and finished the Second World War in the French Army.
After the war he received a position with the art section of the U.S. Army Recreation Service, part of the Army Corps of Engineers. He rose to chief of his section and became a naturalized American citizen in 1951. (In 1947, he had married wife Margaret,a Louisiana native.) Carlo retired from the service in 1972.
In his off-duty time, Carlo created commercial art and illustrations for book covers, magazines and newspapers. By 1972 he was doing this free-lance work for major multi-national companies. Carlo continued to work and paint 10 to 14 hours a day for the rest of his working life.
Carlo’s corporate clients included Daimler Benz, Volkswagen, Ford, Volvo, Auto-Union, Renault, Victoria, Texaco, Veedol, Dunlop, Zeiss Ikon, Wrigley, and Coca-Cola. Most automotive enthusiasts have seen his work in Motor Trend, Playboy, Flug Review, Sports Car Illustrated, Hobby, and Der Spiegel. He created six covers for the German edition of Mad magazine; subjects included Ronald Reagan, John Travolta, Leonard Nimoy and Abba.
Eleven hardcover books have been published with Carlo as exclusive illustrator. His work usually complemented a narrative written by him or others. Perhaps his most famous work is The Big Race, published in 1955. Carlo did 128 charcoal drawings to illustrate the history of automobile racing from 1894 to 1955. Subsequent books were on motor racing, airplanes, trucks, dirigibles, tanks, paddle-wheel steamers, motorcycles and the Mercedes car. The most popular of the books has been Conquerors of the Air: The Evolution of Aircraft, 1903-1945.
Carlo was a founding member of the Automotive Fine Arts Society and routinely exhibited at Pebble Beach at the time of The Concours d'Elegance. He has also shown at Meadowbrook and numerous one-man shows, primarily in Europe. His work is in numerous museum, public and private collections.
The bulk of Carlo’s work has appeared in print. His 11 hardcover books contain 2058 original images. Carlo Demand remains one of the best-documented automotive artists ever.
Biography provided by Mark Moskowitz MD