Miami: “Piston Head” Presented by Venus Over Manhattan at 1111 Lincoln Road, December 3rd-8th, 2013

December 6th, 2013

A car designed by Keith Haring, via Daniel Creahan for Art Observed
A car designed by Keith Haring, photos by Daniel Creahan for Art Observed

The iconic Herzog & de Meuron-designed parking garage at 1111 Lincoln Road is a beacon of Miami Beach’s car culture, with a tony parking fee that guarantees one of the finest collections of automobiles parked in one location in the city on any given night.  Taking  inspiration from the boldly designed structure, Adam Lindemann and his team at New York’s Venus Over Manhattan have opened the space up to one of the more interesting thematic shows of this year’s Art Basel festivities: Piston Head, a show of artist-designed cars.

Dan Colen and Nate Lowman, Welfare Mothers Make Better Lovers (2008), via Daniel Creahan for Art Observed
Dan Colen and Nate Lowman, Welfare Mothers Make Better Lovers (2008),

From sleek, elegant lines to near anarchic disarray, the selection of cars on view offers a bold variety of works by current artists, with contributions by Keith Haring, Damien Hirst,  Kenny Scharf, Virginia Overton, Richard Phillips, Tom Sachs and more.  Taking up the top floor of the parking garage, the works are backdropped by Miami’s expansive skyline.

Kenny Scharf's custom Cadillac, via Daniel Creahan for Art Observed
Kenny Scharf’s custom Cadillac

Highlights of the show include Richard Prince’s Vanishing Point, a menacing, multi-colored Dodge Charger, and the collaborative work Welfare Mothers Make Better Lovers by Dan Colen and Nate Lowman, a completely disassembled Jaguar overflowing with wires and broken equipment, and booming The Champs’ hit single “Tequila” on an endless loop.  Equally fascinating is a full body paint job by Keith Haring on one car.

Damien Hirst's Dotted Mini Cooper, via Daniel Creahan for Art Observed
Damien Hirst’s Dotted Mini Cooper

Running the gamut from symbolic power to structural decay, the American car serves a wealth of functions here, and the artist’s make full use of its potential.  Cars are squashed flat, left to rust or souped up to a threatening sheen, all the while playing off the fleet of BMW’s, Mercedes and Ferrari’s that are parked below.

Piston Head is on view until December 8th at 1111 Lincoln Road.

Richard Prince, Vanishing Point (2012), via Daniel Creahan for Art Observed
Richard Prince, Vanishing Point (2012),

— D. Creahan

Piston Head [Venus Over Manhattan]
1111 Lincoln Road [Website]
Herzog de Meuron [Website]