Piston Head II at VENUS Los Angeles

Kenny Scharf, Daisymobile, 2014
1975 Pontiac Gran Ville Convertible customised with enamel, acrylic, fiberglass,
diamond dust, Naugahyde, resin, and Swarovski crystals. 55 x 228 x 79 inches

Los AngelesArt & Culture

Piston Head II at VENUS Los Angeles

Renowned contemporary artists get their motors running at petrol-fuelled Los Angeles exhibition...

Symbol of freedom, emblem of status or identity, the car has been the machine that man has most connected with since Henry Ford’s Model T first rolled off the newly-imagined production line; petrol and pistons sparking creativity in artists from then on.

Piston Head II: Artists Engage the Automobile at VENUS Los Angeles

Firing up from where Piston Head: Artists Engage the Automobile — an exhibition that ran as part of Art Basel Miami Beach 2013 — left off, Piston Head II once again sees the curators from VENUS exploring the intersections between art and automotive.

There are some familiar faces at the second instalment — César’s squished up 1995 work, Compression Voiture Venise, whilst street artist Kenny Scharf and perennial repurposer Richard Prince are back with newly reworked American classics. Olivier Mosset’s motorcycles are given new context in a gallery space, rising stars like Jonas Wood and Katherine Bernhardt are let loose on old motors, and artists like Peter Shire and Matthew Day Jackson bring their unique sculptural aesthetics to the realm of the automobile.

A separate event in partnership with Los Angeles’s Petersen Automotive Museum sees VENUS presenting Keith Haring’s Land Rover (1983), whilst Garage Italia Customs show off their artistry on a pair of fancy new motors.

Piston Head II: Artists Engage the Automobile continues at VENUS Los Angeles until 10 September.


Jonas Wood, Untitled, 2016

Jonas Wood, Untitled, 2016
Customised 1993 Volvo 240, acrylic paint 190 7/10 x 67 3/10 x 57 1/2 inches

Lawrence Weiner

Lawrence Weiner
Untitled (Sow the Wind, Reap the Whirlwind), 2015
Nash Metropolitan, paint. 57 x 155 x 61 inches

Olivier Mosset

Olivier Mosset, Da, 1962
1962 Harley Davidson
46 x 82 x 40 inches

Katherine Bernhardt, Jungle Jaguar

Katherine Bernhardt, Jungle Jaguar, 2016
Customised 1994 Jaguar XJ6 52 x 195 x 65 inches

Peter Shire Mr. Truck Goes to Coffee, or This One’s for You

Peter Shire
Mr. Truck Goes to Coffee, or This One’s for You, 2016
1979, Toyota 1-ton Flatbed Truck (Vehicle)
Stainless Steel, Vinyl Covering (Sculpture)
60 x 219 x 80 inches (Vehicle)
152.4 x 556.26 x 203.2 cm 84 x 96 inches (Sculpture)

Matthew Day Jackson, To be titled

Matthew Day Jackson,
To be titled, 2016
48 x 220 x 65 inches

César, Compression Voiture Venise

César, Compression Voiture Venise, 1995
Compressed car. 59 x 23 1/2 x 23 1/2 inches

Homage to Billy Al Bengston

Sonny Nutter
Homage to Billy Al Bengston, 2016
Custom Triumph motorcycle. 84 x 34 x 48 inches

Richard Prince, The Odyssey

Richard Prince, The Odyssey, 2016
1970 Challenger and acrylic paint 192 x 78 x 54 inches

Sterling Ruby, BUS

Sterling Ruby, BUS, 2010
Bus, steel, spray paint, stainless steel spheres, speakers, sub-woofers, tires, foam, vinyl, T5 florescent light fixtures, T5 bulbs, electrical conduit. 112 x 96 x 491 inches

Will Boone, CAR

Will Boone, CAR, 2016
Customized Chevrolet Blazer, various materials
74 x 80 x 192 inches

Garage Italia Customs

Garage Italia Customs
Alfa 4C painted with Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa, 2016
Customized Alfa Romeo 4C. 48 x 162 x 84 inches

Garage Italia Customs

Garage Italia Customs
BMW i8 painted with Giacomo Balla’s Street Light, 2016
Customized BMW i8. 51 x 185 x 72 inches