Dubai Design District becomes Andy Warhol’s home at the exhibition by Cadillac titled ‘Letters to Andy Warhol’. Art and automotive are two fields that intersect very often. As a matter of fact, some would say that cars are art pieces. Over the years, cars have been a source of inspiration for many artists, and art enthusiasts will always remember the close relationship Cadillac and Andy Warhol had. In fact, the Pittsburgh native has always been fascinated by the curves and look of the American icon.
To celebrate this relationship as well as the impact Warhol had in the art world, Cadillac, in association with the Andy Warhol Museum, has put together an art installation.
Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the place of Andy Warhol’s birth, The Andy Warhol Museum holds the most extensive collection of Warhol’s artwork and archival materials and is one of the most comprehensive single-artist museums in the world.
“When Andy Warhol died in New York City, his estate formed the Andy Warhol Foundation. The foundation wondered what it should do with all of these artworks. Because Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, the foundation decided that they could have a huge impact on the city of Pittsburgh if they established a museum in Pittsburgh. So, they worked with something called the Carnegie Institute and said we would give you this huge collection of artworks if you establish a museum in Pittsburgh. So all of the artworks that are in our collection actually came from Warhol’s estate. And so our collection directly came from Andy, and we have examples of really everything that Andy created. From the time he was a child until his death,” explained Patrick Moore, the director of The Andy Warhol Museum.
Titled ‘Letters to Andy Warhol’, the exhibition showcases letters and artwork from the archives of The Andy Warhol Museum.
“Cadillac’s collaboration with The Andy Warhol Museum is the perfect platform to demonstrate Cadillac’s heritage in popular American culture. We are proud to host such iconic works and to perpetuate Cadillac’s efforts on a global level to act as a catalyst for innovation and inspiration”, said Christian Soemmer, Managing Director of Cadillac Middle East.
The artwork exhibited, highlights Warhol’s love for iconic American brands and features some of Cadillac’s well-known models as well as five pieces by Warhol. ‘Letters to Andy Warhol’ is an exhibition that showcases the close relationship the artist had with the worlds of fashion, music, media, and art. It also houses pieces by six contemporary artists that used the content of the exhibition to reflect on how the American artist inspired them.
“The exhibition, which was showcased in the Middle East for the very first time, is an outstanding opportunity for us to showcase Warhol’s life and artwork to a whole new demographic. By partnering with Cadillac, a brand that is the epitome of the American dream, we are sharing Warhol’s legacy. Cars are among the comparatively unknown and unexamined subjects of Warhol’s diverse and vast body of work, but he drew and painted a range of Cadillac models,” explained Patrick Moore, the director of The Andy Warhol Museum.
“The letters bring to light different stages of the artist’s life, from the time he was rejected by the MoMA or when he was praised by Yves Saint Laurent for his work”
The piece de resistance of this exhibition is, more than the artworks themselves, the letters Warhol received from icons like Yves Saint Laurent and Mick Jagger or institutions like the Museum of Modern Art, the New York State Department of Public Works. The letters bring to light different stages of the artist’s life, from the time he was rejected by the MoMA or when he was praised by Yves Saint Laurent for his work.
“It talks about the friendship between these two very famous men who still need to reassure each other. They’re still vulnerable. They’re still friends. They still have something inside of them that needs that little kernel of reassurance,” Moore said about Saint Laurent’s letter to Warhol.
“”I love them; I admire you; I am your friend” Saint Laurent wrote in the message, mailed from Paris on July 31, 1974”
The letter was sent in the 1970s after rumors saying that the French designer did not like Warhol’s multicolored portraits of him. To set the record straight, Saint Laurent sent a letter to Warhol saying that the rumors were untrue and that he really liked the piece. “I love them; I admire you; I am your friend” Saint Laurent wrote in the message, mailed from Paris on July 31, 1974.
Each letter has inspired artistic contributions and experiences from a roster of talent including Aimee Mullins, Brian Atwood, Chiara Clemente, Derek Blasberg, David LaChapelle, Francesco Clemente, J.J. Martin, Nick Rhodes, Sean Lennon, Sienna Miller and Zac Posen.
“Andy Warhol painted a portrait of American life. The Warhol’s partnership with Cadillac, an iconic American brand that appears in Warhol’s work, feels completely right to us,” says Patrick Moore, The Warhol’s interim director. “We’re excited to be part of an exhibition that examines the continuing influence of Warhol on contemporary culture through the lens of some of today’s most influential tastemakers.”
Cadillac as a brand has always been a major actor of the American cultural scene; from apparition in movies, paintings, and pictures to sponsoring art exhibitions, the brand has been very active in the last years with New York City as a focus; a theme that comes back with this exhibition.
“Cadillac wanted to talk about New York City, and they associated Warhol with New York City but not just New York City in general; New York City at a moment when it was about innovation, about hope, optimism. We could have just done the exhibition with artworks from our collection in which Warhol literally painted drew and photographed Cadillac cars but the curators wanted to go deeper, and that is why we included the letters,” added Moore.
Design is an essential discipline that Cadillac has been promoting in the recent years, but the manufacturer’s involvement with this domain took a global turn in 2015 when the brand partnered with the hyped design house, Public School.
This collaboration furthered Cadillac’s engagement with the fashion community, by supporting both emerging and established designers. Cadillac hosted Public School’s spring 2016 fashion show at its new global headquarters in SoHo.
“This is a new way for two American brands to join forces, share a passion for design and grow globally”, said Andrew Smith, Cadillac executive director of Global Design. “For Cadillac, it gives new meaning to being a patron of the arts.”
The brand also sponsored New York Men’s Day and has a multi-season partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), which included support of the first-ever New York Fashion Week: Men’s.
“I like to be the right thing in the wrong place and the wrong thing in the right place. Being the right thing in the wrong place and the wrong thing in the right place is worth it because something interesting always happens.”
― Andy Warhol