The iconic backlots of Paramount Pictures‘ studios played home to a different kind of production on a sunny weekend in April when Paris Photo, an art fair that brings together 70 renowned contemporary galleries from around the world, set up camp. This was the first time that the 16-year-old international fair took place in Los Angeles and, appropriately, Paris Photo drew on the city’s historic Hollywood roots.
Julien Frydman, the director of Paris Photo, insisted upon including Andy Warhol’s painted 1979 BMW M1 at the center of the Los Angeles event, as it represents the joining of art and motion (and as Warhol, himself, explained, his creation was intended to “give a vivid depiction of speed. If a car is really fast, all contours and colors will become blurred”). Dr. Thomas Girst, the head of cultural engagement at BMW told DuJour, “Hollywood movies are about all of these things [art and motion] bouncing off of each other, which is what gives this fair it’s great energy.”
The French fête, which alternatively takes place at the Grand Palais exhibition hall in Paris, considered the innovative location a welcome, and fitting, departure, as Andy Warhol’s very first California exhibit, featuring the famous Campbell Soup can images, was in 1962 at the Ferus Art Gallery in Los Angeles. Though not one of his pieces was purchased at the time, L.A. was none the less where the famed Studio 54 artist got his start. By bringing Warhol’s car back to Los Angeles years later for the first time, BMW and Paris Fair certainly, as Girst explained, “brings art photography back to the city where it came from.”