The Petersen Automotive Museum has got its hands on a Keith Haring Art Car called the “Haring Defender” and it is showing it off to the Los Angeles car and art loving public. The Art Car in question is a 1971 Land Rover Defender 110 painted by Haring, the influential urban and New York pop art figure.
Haring painted the classic Defender in 1983, and the curators at the Petersen made the temporary acquisition to further the museum’s effort to features not just art cars, but cars as art. The classic British off-roader is adjourned in Haring’s signature, unmistakable graffiti drawings — creating an almost tribal display of shapes examining ” birth, death, sexuality and war.”
Haring died of AIDS in 1990, but not before becoming a modern street art legend. His world famous “Crack Is Wack” mural at an uptown handball court was painted without city permission — but it’s now protected as a graffiti masterpiece.
The Land Rover Defender debuted after World War II in 1947 as the original “Rover,” quickly gaining popularity with rural civilians, the military, explorers and anyone looking for a more rugged, all-purpose vehicle capable of taking on any environment. Recognized early on as a groundbreaking design for what would become SUVs, the Defender was known for its avoidance of unsprung weight by positioning wheels as close to the vehicle’s corners as possible.