Let’s face the facts: The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles can go toe-to-toe with any major museum on the West Coast. Their shows and subject matter constantly go beyond your typical display of car collections. The bottom floor, for example, is currently filled with the largest official James Bond vehicle exhibit in the United States (that show runs through Oct. 23), and the hits keep coming.
Last weekend, the late Andy Warhol’s mid-1980s Mercedes-Benz-commissioned artwork took center stage with a collection of priceless M-B automobiles and strikingly framed paintings put on display in the Armand Hammer Foundation Gallery.
Warhol certainly doesn’t need an introduction. We all know who he is. He emerged as a leading figure in the Pop Art movement of the 1950s and ’60s, and his visual design style has repeatedly been copied throughout the decades. His creative wit turned ordinary household items into iconic works of art: Brillo pads to soup cans and beyond.
At first glance, Warhol doesn’t seem like your typical ‘Car Guy.’ But his final commission with Mercedes-Benz solidified him as one. The two partnered in 1986—just a year before Warhol’s death—to celebrate the German manufacturer’s 100th anniversary, and for the first time in some 30 years the fruits of this collaboration will be on display.
The Armand Hammer Foundation Gallery is the smallest room on the Petersen’s first floor, but don’t let that fool you: Every inch of the space is colorfully filled, and top to bottom, left to right, you will find yourself immersed in a wonderland of Warhol’s creativity.
I recommend you come see for yourself.
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