Hot Wheels and Gallery 1988 Present Pop Surrealist Exhibit Showcasing Artwork Inspired by Classic Toy Brands

by Jay Cochran
April 02, 2008
TOYS, a pop surrealist exhibit featuring a collection of artwork inspired by classic toy brands, opens today and includes a collection of artwork that pays tribute to the 40th anniversary of Hot Wheels® cars. More than 40 of the most famous pop surrealist artists from around the globe created customized 1:18 scale Hot Wheels® Volkswagen buses. Along with the Hot Wheels® inspired pieces, the exhibit also features canvas paintings and other artwork inspired by generations of children's classic toys.

“Gallery 1988 has partnered with many notable artists and has hosted several exhibits focused on pop culture, but I’ve been completely blown-away by the level of creativity these artists have reached with the customized Hot Wheels VW buses,” said Jensen Karp, director of the Los Angeles Gallery 1988. “We’re pleased to be exhibiting an artwork collection that pays tribute to Hot Wheels’ heritage and the brand’s incredible 40-year milestone.”

More than 40 of the most notable artists, including Greg Simkins, Jon Burgerman and Bwana Spoons, were given white, 1:18 scale die-cast Hot Wheels® Volkswagen buses to customize for the exhibit. Each Volkswagen bus will be individually displayed and priced between $300 and $5,500.

A portion of the proceeds from the custom-designed Hot Wheels® VW buses, provided by Volkswagen, will be donated to the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation. In addition to the customized VW buses, original artwork inspired by the 40th anniversary of Hot Wheels®, created by artists like David Horvath and husband/wife team, Brandt Peters and Kathie Olivias, also will be showcased at the exhibit.

“This exhibit exemplifies how the magic of toys not only inspire us at a young age, but remain a form of inspiration in our adult years,” said Richard Dickson, senior vice president, Marketing, Media & Entertainment Worldwide, Mattel Brands. “Mattel is home to some of the most popular and beloved toy brands and we’re honored to have the 40th anniversary of Hot Wheels commemorated through this one-of-kind custom art form.”

“Since 1968, Hot Wheels has inspired automotive trends and revolutionized the toy industry by delivering speed, power, performance and attitude with every die-cast car,” said Tim Kilpin, GM and senior vice president, Boys & Entertainment, Mattel Brands. “As we celebrate our 40th anniversary, we’re extremely proud that the brand continues to bring excitement and inspiration to Hot Wheels fans of all ages.”

TOYS will be open to the public until April 25, 2008. For Gallery 1988 location and showroom hours, please visit


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