Did Warhol prostitute his Art?

02 July 2022
A German art dealer, Hans Meyer, commissioned Andy Warhol the produce  the first painting of a 300SL coupé to celebrate the 1986 centenary of the invention of the motor car.

When Mercedes-Benz saw the result, it commissioned Warhol to paint the entire series, ‘Cars’, to track the evolution of its designs from the Benz Patent-Motorwagen 1885 to the experimental Mercedes-Benz C111.

Part of Mercedes-Benz’s corporate art collection, ‘Cars’ was unfinished at the time of Warhol’s death in 1987. Warhol completed 36 silkscreen prints and 13 drawings of eight Mercedes models before his death.

Anyhow, back to the story, Brabus, as only Brabus can, have decided to restore and recreate a Mercedes-Benz 300SL from the 1986 picture painted by Andy Warhol, part of the ‘Cars’ collection.

The restored 3.0-litre straight-six M198 engine delivering 215 hp was one of the significant engines of its era. In 1955, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing snatched that record from the Jaguar XK 120s 132 mph record with a top speed of 135 mph, making it the fastest production car in the world.

Brabus spent more than 4,500 hours of work showing extreme and excessive care in thinking about dealing with every tiny detail, even the steering pivots allowing more accessible entrance over the very high door sill.

Andy’s work for Mercedes-Benz and similar work for Perrier Water was denounced as ‘undistinguished glitz’; due to Warhol’s ‘passionate avarice’, he was accused of crossing the line into advertising.