New York City

Keith Haring Art Car Visits the Petersen

The artist's famous Land Rover will go on display at the Miracle Mile auto institution.

Art car parades are a beloved summertime staple 'round our nation.

Show up on a downtown street on a sunny Saturday and you just might spy a sedan covered in neon paint driving by, or a truck that looks like it drove out of an Impressionist masterpiece.

The sky, or rather the road, is the limit for car-loving creative people.

But artists from Damien Hirst to Richard Prince have also used wheeled machines for grand and whimsical expression, an expression that connects, on a deep level, with the viewer's sometimes complicated relationship with automobiles.

Artist Keith Haring took on the challenge of the art car a few times, including the painting of a 1971 Land Rover Defender in 1983. The sizable vehicle soon became one of the emblem of the icon's work, a piece of art that isn't carried around to be hung on walls but rather driven.

That artwork, which was made in New York City, is going on display in the Petersen Automotive Museum lobby on Thursday, July 28. An opening party is set for the evening of the 28th, while the Land Rover will remain on view at the Miracle Mile auto institution through the end of 2016.

Painter Kenny Scharf will stop by the opening to chat with Adam Lindemann, a collector of both cars and art. It's an interesting intersection to stand at, the car as canvas, and one that doesn't get a lot of play outside of local parades and the occasional offbeat auto seen out around town.

Mr. Haring elevated the form back in the early '80s, just as he invigorated and expanded political art and street art, both, with his legendary thick-of-line figures, figures still so famous they instantly telegraph the artist.

Eager to see one of the best-known art cars in existence? Eye the Keith Haring's celebrated 1971 Land Rover Defender with your Petersen admission, through Dec. 31, 2016.

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