For those who have attended SEMA in the past, it is common to see Spectacular sights during the week long expo. Besides being surrounded by thousands of magnificently modified vehicles throughout the inside and outside of the Las Vegas Convention Center, attendees are greeted with visual gifts only permitted to those holding a current SEMA Badge. During certain hours you can see BMWs drifting in the Continental Tires track, the unveiling of the new GTS Supra at the Toyota Booth, or just get star-struck by all the celebrities scattered throughout SEMA.
This SEMA 2019, however, brought something even the veteran attendee had never seen before; the talent of Rob Prior, and live demonstrations of him painting. Rob was accompanied by Scott, who ensured all that was needed for completed paintings were accessible to Mr Prior.
It is one thing to see a Rob Prior painting online, and be amazed at the finished product, it is completely a totally different experience watching him produce a masterpiece in less than two hours. SEMA attendees who passed by the MGP Caliper Covers, EMPI or NRG Innovations booths were fortunate to be a part of the first Rob Prior automotive collections. SEMA 2019 was the first time live paintings were conducted during the expo, and the energy/passion Prior pours into his works of art were felt by all who saw him paint. And, there were many attendees who stopped in their tracks to see this Master perform.
For more than thirty years, Rob Prior has been mesmerizing crowds with his unique painting style and almost supernatural talent. Rob’s works transcend genre and defy classification. At once a pop artist, a painter, a director and producer, and a master storyteller, Rob has been called one of the “top content creators of his generation.”
He paints with both hands, often with his eyes closed. Whether you’re a fan of a pop art show or a collector of fine art, Rob’s work will speak to you. In fact, it’s hard to be a pop culture fan and not encounter Rob’s creations.
As a comic book artist, Rob has worked with Marvel, D.C., Todd McFarlane, Kevin Eastman and Image Comics. His most notable credits include work on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Terminator, Deep Space 9, Game of Thrones, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Heavy Metal Magazine. As a leading storyboard artist, he provided boards for advertising campaigns for corporations like Budweiser and Nikon, as well as for the gaming industry, for Titlist, 2K Games, and Buffy. Rob also created all the storyboards and animatics for video games Ghost Rider and The Darkness. Rob’s illustration credits include TSR (Dungeons and Dragons), Wizards of The Coast, Battle of The Lords of The 23rd Century, and numerous others.
In the twenty years I have displayed at SEMA, I have never experienced such a positive welcoming vibe as I did when I visited with Rob and Scott, at the NRG booth on Wednesday. As I approached the booth, Tyler Kirkham had just completed two hours of signing, and Rob Prior was full into his painting. This painting was the last of 8 he completed while on the SEMA Floor.
It was clearly felt by all who were near the booth, that a-once-and-a-lifetime Event was occurring at the NRG Booth. Rob Prior was ferociously painting Venom, as the sounds of Metallica played in the background.
There was no lure with the “A typical” gorgeous model with Bikini poster, or an overly modified “me too car” (this year it was the Toyota Supra), but instead the booth Marketing Director agreed to a theme, we had approached him on earlier in the year. A theme anyone could associate with, a comic-concept theme, with Mr Prior as the centerpiece. It seemed as if everything flowed perfectly as Rob applied more brush strokes to the painting. The Spider Buggy, Marsell Stark, the NRG Marvel uniforms, and Rob’s performance lured more people into the booth, than the Supras on display at the Toyota Booth (which was only a few feet away). It was truly the place to be at SEMA 2019.
It is apparent that Rob Prior has captured the interest of those who follow pop culture, super heroes, and action movies. We hope now that gearheads will begin to gravitate to his new automotive pieces he will produce in 2020, and hopefully display at SEMA. With a weeklong stay surrounded by automotive masterpieces, introduction to real racers at the MGP Booth, and even a drift-ride along at Continental Tires track, we are positive the experience will yield some phenomenal automotive paintings. We will be planning for Mr Prior painting in a 2020 booth, and having a gallery to allow SEMA patrons the opportunity to purchase original paintings or prints.
More images of Rob Prior at SEMA 2019:
Image above is the painting Rob finished at the NRG Booth- Deadpool vs Carnage
Image above is the painting Rob finished at the EMPI Booth- Venom Invades SEMA
Image above is the painting Rob finished at the MGP Caliper Covers Booth- Deathstroke Camaro