This exclusive LA event started off with a brief introduction by KCRW’s Edward Goldman, who hosts a weekly radio segment called ‘Art Talk’. As both an automotive and art enthusiast, I found Edward to be the perfect person to kick things off with an introduction to Haring’s art. As the curtains were pulled back, the crowd was quickly welcomed in by Keith Haring’s whimsical and colorful hand-painted 1963 Buick Special. As a big fan of Keith’s art, it set the tone and brought a big smile to my face and all the other invited guests. Moving through this tiny room was like navigating a Walmart during a Black Friday sale, but I was still able to move my over six-foot-tall, 200-pound frame easily through the sea of onlookers and gawkers. As I paused for a second to get my bearings, I met up with art critic Edward Goldman from KCRW’s ‘Art Talk’. I’m such a big fan of his weekly reporting of the ever growing LA art scene. Having him there meant I was at the hottest art happening in town. He summarized the evening by saying “Keith is truly with us tonight in spirit.” The body of work made you feel his presence. Moving on, I approached the BMW Z1. I couldn’t help but notice just how current Keith Haring’s work remains. He has been gone for over 25 years now, but his creativity still inspires the street art scene around the world to this day. It was also an exciting moment for me as an automotive nut and specifically a huge BMW fanatic. I had never seen a Z1 in person since they never officially made it to the U.S. That ended up being a highlight of the evening for me. This quirky two-seat roadster with a 2.5-liter straight-six engine and dropped down doors was a car I really wanted to own when it first came out in the late 80s.
The Petersen Automotive Museum was recently remodeled and has quite a sophisticated design now. Sad to say when I use the words ‘sophisticated design’ that does mean the AM/PM Mini-mart with soft serve ice cream has gone the way of the woolly mammoths and the Saber-toothed cats just down the street in the tar pits.
Quick side note: A rainy late night will guarantee the line at Pink’s across town will be short. I always order an over-cooked grilled dog and an extra toasted bun with mustard chased down with a glass bottle of Coke. The perfect pick-me-up for the drive back to Orange County.