It was Andy Warhol’s last commission: in 1986, German automaker Mercedes-Benz caught wind of the pop artist’s silkscreen prints of its 300 SL coupé – and he liked what he saw. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of its foundation, it then asked Warhol to create a series dedicated to different models in the history of the car manufacturer.
In the end, only 49 of a proposed series of 80 Pop car photos were made before Warhol’s death in 1987, comprising 36 screenprints on canvas and 13 drawings. Now fans have the chance to see this series for the first time in three decades at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, where, in a rush that only the Petersens could possibly pull off, they are paired with the actual cars that inspired them. .
“Andy Warhol: Cars” is a standout, borrowing from the late Warhol series from the Mercedes-Benz collection. As for the vehicles on display, they are described as “some of the most iconic and valuable cars in the world”, and include the 1937 W 125 and the 1970 C 111 II (both also on loan from the Benz Museum).
The exhibition is that rare event that can unite art aficionados and gearheads (and therefore can be a perfect date night for a very specific type of couple). As an added, non-Mercedes-based treat, the show also features Warhol’s personal car: a 1974 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. It was something of a trophy for Warhol, given that he himself couldn’t drive.
Take a look at some photos from “Andy Warhol: Cars” below.
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