Here’s Louie Mattar’s trick-out 1947 Cadillac which was featured in a LIFE article dated March, 1952. The car featured a hookah, shower, washing machine, kitchen sink, microphone and little weenie roaster in the back seat.
It took Louie more than 4 years to modify his pimpin’ Caddy and cost him around $14,000.
J. G. Ballard once said, if by some terrible calamity all art from the 20th century was destroyed except for the work of one artist, then it would be possible to recreate all of the century’s greatest artistic developments if that artist was Eduardo Paolozzi.
Deliberate hyperbole, but there is an essence of truth here, as Paolozzi produced such an incredible range and diversity of art that it has been difficult for critics and art historians to classify him. He began as a Surrealist, before becoming the first Pop Artist—a decade before Warhol put paint on canvas. He then moved on to print-making, design, sculpture and public art to international success.
Born in Edinburgh, to an Italian family in 1924, Paolozzi spent much of his childhood at his parent’s ice cream parlor, where he was surrounded by the packaging, wrapping and cigarette cards that later inspired his Pop Art. This early idyll of childhood was abruptly ended when Italy declared war on Britain in 1940. Paolozzi awoke one morning to find himself, along with his father and uncles, incarcerated, in the city’s Saughton Prison, as undesirables, or enemies of the state. Paolozzi was held for 3 months, but his father and uncles were deported to Canada on the ship HMS Arandora Star, which was torpedoed by a U-boat off the north-west coast of Ireland. The vessel sank with the loss of 630 lives.
Considered psychologically unsuitable for the army, the teenage Paolozzi studied at the Edinburgh School of Art, in 1943, before finishing at the Slade School in London, which he found disappointingly conservative in its approach to art.
After the war, Paolozzi moved briefly to Paris where he visited some of the century’s greatest artists, then resident in the city—Giacometti, Braque, Arp, Brâncuşi, and Léger. In his youthful boldness, Eduardo had telephoned each of these artists after discovering their numbers in the telephone directory. He was greeted as an equal, he later claimed, most probably because the war had just ended. The experience taught Paolozzi much, and emboldened his ideas. On his return to London, Paolozzi presented a slide show of adverts and packaging, which was the very first Pop Art.
Paolozzi developed his distinctive collages and multiple images of Marilyn Monroe long before Warhol and even Richard Hamilton, the artist with whom he showed at the now legendary This Is Tomorrow exhibition, at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1956.
Paolozzi eventually tired of his association with Pop Art, as it limited his incredibly diverse artistic vision. The same year as This Is Tomorrow, he played a deaf mute, with fellow artist Michael Andrews, in the first major Free Cinema movie Together by Lorenza Mazzetti.
By the late 1950s, he had moved on to industrial print-making, before producing an incredibly awe-inspiring range of designs for buildings, sculptures and public art—from his mosaic for Tottenham Court Road tube station to the cover of Paul McCartney’s Red Rose Speedway, through to such epic sculptures Newton, outside of the British Library, Vulcan, Edinburgh, and Head of Invention, Design Museum, London.
In 1984, Paolozzi conceived and produced a brief strange and surreal animation 1984: Music for Modern Americans, which was animated and directed by Emma Calder, Susan Young and Isabelle Perrichon, and based photocopies of Paolozzi’s original drawings.
American Express teamed up with John DeLorean back in 1980 for a nifty Christmas promotion: 100 24-karat gold-plated DeLoreans slated to be manufactured for $85,000 each. I guess people weren’t too jazzed by this practical promotion because only two were sold. A third gold-plated car was assembled in 1983 “with spare parts that were required by American Express in case one of the other two that were built were damaged.”
What’s funny about this is there was actually a 4th gold-plated DeLorean made, but not by DeLorean/American Express, oh no. It was made by a man on a mission named Michael Feldman. Feldman had to own one and didn’t want to pay the $85,000 price tag, so he made one himself in 1981. As My Car Quest writes:
“This is not your normal car story.”
You can read about Feldman’s DIY gold-plated DeLorean here.
Sadly, it appears Giorgio Moroder wasn’t the owner of any these four cars.
I’ve never seen anything quite like this before: A beautifully hand-carved glitch-style storage unit titled “Good Vibrations” by architect and designer Ferruccio Laviani.
Echoes of faraway places and Oriental elements are glimpsed in the “disorienting” design of this storage unit, which seems to have been “deformed” by a strong jolt or by swaying movements. Although it appears to depart from the aesthetics of the past, in fact it draws upon ancient knowledge in the use of carving and fine wood workmanship.
The appeal of this extraordinary piece of furniture lies in its ability to overturn and question classical stylistic principles such as purity, cleanness and symmetry, while evoking a comforting feeling of deja-vù and a sort of primitiveness, matched by unquestionable craftsmanship.
Above, vintage photo of Pan Am flight attendants via Glamour.
Redondo Beach-based Anthony Toth and self-proclaimed “airplane nerd” has gone and done it: he has built a partial replica ‘70s Pan Am 747 which resides in a 3,000 square foot warehouse in the City of Industry. Whoa!
This Pan Am recreation has cost Toth nearly $100,000. He hopes to rent it out to production companies. Personally, I think he should rent out for parties!
Bob Hope’s Palm Springs home is for sale. It’s an architectural marvel designed by the visionary John Lautner in 1973. The futuristic dwelling is almost 24,000 square feet, costs $50 million and is conveniently located close to the Coachella Fest for you rock ‘n’ roll billionaires out there. Move quick because this won’t be on the market long. Contact Partners Trust.
George Tate’s photographs of 1960s car washes capture a point in American history that was so bright you had to wear shades. Gleaming spires reach for the sky and its infinite possibilities. Motorcars bask in the sun like retired spaceships and dream of accelerating into the stratosphere.
This is the happy place where once families watched The Jetsons in small suburban ranch homes warmed by the glow of the cathode ray and steaming TV dinners. Everything seemed lit from within…like an A-bomb.
The United States Postal Service will be issuing a Johnny Cash stamp later this year as part of its new “Music Icons” series. The stamp features a photograph taken by Frank Bez which appeared on the cover of the album Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash.