Artwork

Robert Longo
Big Red Car (Kompressor), 1997

  • Acrylic and lacquer on aluminum
  • 323 x 831 cm
  • Acquired in 1998

Robert Longo presented several Mercedes models in 1995/97 as a commission for the company, linking up with Andy Warhol’s incomplete Cars series. Four large-format drawings were completed (charcoal/graphite), Cars from Above, showing top views of 1980s and 1990s models, and Big Red Car, an airbrush painting showing a side view of the Mercedes SLK Compressor. The roadster, presented to the public in 1997, with its oversized representation seems to hover, but the tree-dimensional illusionism is interrupted by the decomposition of the picture in 100 panels. The space between the panels forms a grid; and each panel stands in ratio of 1:10 to the whole rectangular picture, which derives from the car’s outline. Longo’s characteristically hyper-realistic approach – choosing familiar subjects from the media picture machinery and isolating these from their original context in larger-than-life-size black-and-white drawings – works against the rapid glance at gleaming surfaces. Instead, Longo’s work creates a problem around the standard, «black-and-white» thought patterns people use to persuade themselves they would understand and consume the world.

Robert Longo

* 1953 New York City (NY), USA
Lives and works in New York City (NY), USA
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Robert Longo
Untitled (black car), 1996
Graphite on paper mounted on masonite
Robert Longo
C-Class, C 180/W 202, 1998
Graphite on paper, mounted on masonite

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