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Petersen Museum opens Lowrider Art Exhibit

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Wed, Oct 25, 2017

By: The LACar Editorial Staff


The High Art of Riding Low, at the Petersen Automotive Museum (Tom Gomez)

Story and pictures by Tom Gomez I recently had the privilege to visit the new lowrider exhibit, “The High Art of Riding Low”, at the world renown Petersen Automotive Museum. The exhibit will run until June 3 2018, so we encourage all car enthusiast to go visit while you can. 
One thing we would like to mentioned is, you really don’t have to be a lowrider or even a car enthusiast to enjoy this exhibit. Yes it’s car-oriented, but it’s about culture and art—and cars just happen to be the medium for it. “The High Art of Riding Low” shows the impact of the lowrider as a cultural icon. The vast range of work on display, from sculptures, lithographs, drawings, paintings to photography, as well as the super tricked-out lowriders themselves that combine automotive ingenuity and artistic expression. You will be amazed at the quality of the exhibits, from “Our Family Car,” a 1950 Chevrolet sedan painted by legendary artist Gilbert “Magu” Luján, “El Rey,” a 1963 Chevrolet Impala by Albert De Alba Sr., “El Muertorider,” a 1968 Chevy Impala by Artemio Rodríguez and John Jota Leaños, and “Gangster Squad ’39,” a 1939 Chevrolet Master Deluxe by Mister Cartoon.


The High Art of Riding Low, at the Petersen Automotive Museum (Tom Gomez)

The exhibit also features artists like Luis Tapia, Estevan Oriol, Germs a.k.a. Jaime Zacarias and El Moisés
Terry L. Karges, Executive Director of the Petersen Automotive Museum said, “We at the museum are honored to be in a position to share this vibrant and thriving culture with those who might not otherwise be exposed to it. Chicano culture is so deeply intertwined with the culture of Los Angeles and automobiles represent a rich part of that.” ‘The High Art of Riding Low’ is going to be one of the most important exhibits we’ve curated.” Just to give you an idea of the impact of this cool exhibit, I took my 19 year-old daughter to this exhibit and this poor kid has been to car shows since she was five years-old. In the early years, she loved it! You know kids, soda, cotton candy and their happy! Then they grow up and they don’t want to hang out with Mom and Dad anymore.


The High Art of Riding Low, at the Petersen Automotive Museum (Tom Gomez)

Well, I can tell you as my daughter walked in and saw the exhibit, she was amazed at the quality of the art that was on display. Her little kid amazement was back. She kept saying, “look at this one Dad, you should take a picture of that!” As a father, it made me so happy to see her walking from exhibit-to-exhibit actually interested and taking her own pictures! She couldn’t wait to show me her pics and they were really good! Maybe all those years of tagging along with Dad paid off! So if a 19 year-old teenage girl can put down her Facebook and Instagram to spend time looking at lowrider art, I’m sure anyone of you wonderful folks will do the same!


The High Art of Riding Low, at the Petersen Automotive Museum (Tom Gomez)

As a former editor of Lowrider magazine, you might say I’m partial to the exhibit. Over the years of being around it, one gets desensitized to the “style” of the cars. But the one thing I’m are always amazed at are the incredible paint jobs and attention to detail that goes into these rolling art exhibits, because no two cars are ever alike—especially on the full customs. That goes for the trucks and bicycles too, and the cool thing about most of the cars is that they are built by the owner in his or her garage—with makeshift paint booths and hours of painstaking love and dedication to the art.
 So, in the famous words of Lowrider magazine, “go low and slow.” Or go fast and get a ticket! Okay, maybe we added that last line. Drive safe! For more information on “The High Art of Riding Low: Ranflas, Corazón e Inspiración” or to purchase tickets, please visit or call (323) 930-CARS. Got something to say? Add your Facebook Comment here.

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