When Claes Oldenburg was a child, he played with a toy version of the 1937 Chrysler Airflow, the first car designed according to aerodynamic principles. Profile Airflow (1969) was inspired in part by that memory. The artist, known for his soft sculptures based on everyday objects, wanted it to be “clear in color, transparent like a swimming pool, but have a consistency like flesh.”
Designed by Ferdinand Alexander ‘Butzi’ Porsche (1935 – 2012), grandson of the Volkswagen Beetle’s creator, the 911 (this model circa 1965) rivals its forebear as an icon of German automotive engineering.
A close examination reveals traits inherited from previous Porsche cars, including the raised round headlights and rear-mounted, air-cooled engine. Larger and specifically faster than its immediate predecessor, the Porsche 365, and the Beetle, the 911 in the most successful competition car ever mass produced.
If you’re in the market for a new sweet ride, why not consider the first car named for its own hastag — Volkswagen’s 2017 limited-edition #PinkBeetle? We had the opportunity to see the #PinkBeetle all up close and personal at a fun launch party earlier this week, and it looked like it was just made to be the Pink Thing of the Day, so here we go!
Fresh Fuchsia Metallic is the color of this beauty’s vibrant pink-hued exterior. The 2017 #PinkBeetle is powered by a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission that produces 170 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. The special pink designer Beetle will be available in coupe and convertible configurations when it reaches dealer showrooms this fall.
On the exterior, the new #PinkBeetle is trimmed with gloss black mirror housings and black running boards. Coupes will ride on 17-in., multi-spoke aluminum wheels and the convertibles will be equipped with 18-in., 5-spoke Twister design wheels. New bi-Xenon headlights and other LED lighting systems are standard.
The cabin of the #PinkBeetle is set up with a black dash trimmed in pink with a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel with paddle shifters. Heated front seats and back seating are upholstered in black Pink Club cloth inserts that are plaid with pink striping.
An MIB II multimedia system is standard and comes with a 6.3-in. touch screen with VW’s Car-Net app suite that offers connectivity for all three major smartphone platforms. A rearview camera, keyless entry, and push-button start, plus a 3-month satellite radio subscription, are included.
Everyone enjoyed looking at and being photographed with the #PinkBeetle while also sampling tasty snacks and refreshing beverages!
The 2017 Volkswagen #PinkBeetle goes on sale this fall. Pricing will be announced closer to the launch date. VW says the model will be sold in limited quantities, but we were unable to procure actual production numbers.
With their Photorealism, Robert Bechtle’s works capture the essence of modern, postwar American culture. The manicured lawns bathed in sunlight, the well-kept houses, the kids, the cars . . . all of suburbia’s manifestations are explored and exploited in his works. He elevates the mundane and commonplace to something more, an anonymous yet intimate view of ourselves. It is important to remember that his works are not photographs. They are masterfully painted pieces that are touched by the artist’s ideas, vision, hand, and point of view. A photograph captures what is there before us. Bechtle takes that moment and paints it as he sees it, not merely as the camera saw it. Like the Impressionists, he shows a fleeting glimpse of daily life, touched by transient light. Painting from photographs allows Bechtle to fully examine and capture that single moment in all its infinite detail. He then interprets the moment by selecting the details that he will paint. The overall flatness of many of his pieces creates a feeling of loneliness and emptiness amidst the picture-perfect settings.
In Bechtle’s oil painting ’61 Pontiac (1968-69) the family at the center of the image is the artist’s own. Standing beside his wife, with their two small children, they are the picture of familial complacency. They fully inhabit their own world, which is visible from where they stand. The house, the yard, the station wagon – this is their domain. Their pose amidst this seems almost uncomfortable, as if they want to move but are plagued with inertia. The field of view is devoid of anything other than the family and its possessions. The painting has a flatness accentuated by the fact that all fields of the painting are in focus, unlike with a photograph where depth of field creates some areas that are more crisp than others. It is as if there is no delineation or value given to any subject in the painting—the lawn is as much a star of this work as is the car or the blonde children.
Robert Bechtle plays on American desires and dreams, poking dead-pan fun at the ultimate banality and emptiness of achieving those dreams. The stark reality of his work is that it says as much about Americans’ feelings of alienation as it does about the ongoing quest for the American Dream.
Photographed in the Whitney Museum in NYC.
I see this classic Dodge parked on the street across from my house most days. I’m not sure which model year it is, but I think mid-to-late 1950s is a safe best. Anyway, I noticed it has this cool Ram Hood Ornament. Very nice.