Keith Haring ‘Art Cars’ Race Into Los Angeles (Photos)

One of contemporary society’s greatest art stars, Keith Haring, is well-known for his bold line drawings, found everywhere from subway tunnels to more conventional canvases. Many are unaware, however, that some of Haring’s most unique work is found on unconventional canvases—specifically five “art cars” that will be on display at Los Angeles’ Petersen Automotive Museum starting Dec. 17.

At the top of his game in New York of the 1980s, Haring was an openly gay graffiti artist whose work examined issues of AIDS, sexuality and war. Along with Kenny Scharf and Jean-Michel Basquiat, he’s regarded as one of the world’s most influential artists working in the “public art” sphere. Sadly, he died in 1990 from AIDS-related complications.

Photo © Christian Rossier; Keith Haring artwork © Keith Haring Foundation

The Unconventional Canvases of Keith Haring explores the work and themes of this beloved artist by showcasing five vehicles covered in his signature-style work. It’s set to be the very first exhibit of its kind, and BMW—as a sponsor of the Petersen—continues its support of the arts by presenting the showcase.

Photo © Kevin Krich; Keith Haring artwork © Keith Haring Foundation

“Keith Haring was such an important and loved figure in the art world, and we are honored to be able to display such a unique collection of his art,” says Terry Karges, Executive Director of the Petersen.

One of the cars on display—a 1971 Land Rover Series III featuring Haring’s take on flying saucers and various animals, famously completed during the Montreaux Jazz Fest—previously resided in the museum’s lobby after being donated by a collector earlier this year.

Photo © Elinor Vernhes / Hervé Perdriolle; Keith Haring artwork © Keith Haring Foundation

“We had such a positive response after displaying his Land Rover in our lobby that we knew we had to share the rest of his art cars with our patrons,” says Karges. “This new exhibit is a prime example of the Petersen’s mission to merge the worlds of art and automobiles.”

Among the other vehicles on display are a 1962 SCAF/Mortarini Mini Ferrari 330 P-2, a 1963 Buick Special, a 1987 Honda CBR1000F Hurricane motorcycle and a 1991 BMW Z1.

Photo courtesy of Galerie Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf; Keith Haring artwork © Keith Haring Foundation

The Unconventional Canvases of Keith Haring will be on display at the Petersen through June 4, 2017. Find more info and purchase tickets here.