Car Hoods Can Be Art But What Hood Is It?: Cold Start

Cs Chicagohood

I’m still here in Stockholm, at this moment at the venue where the Volvo EX90 reveal canine-and-equine show is to happen, but I had a few dead hours this morning and so I decided to sneak over to the Moderna Museet, Stockholm’s contemporary art museum. Among the exhibits (it’s a good collection! There’s that Rauschemberg piece with the goat jammed through the tire, for example) was this one from Judy Chicago, best known for The Dinner Party, which was a painted car hood.

The museum describes this particular painted car hood like this:

Car Hood plays on the male-dominated surfer culture in 1960s Los Angeles. Judy Chicago was one of few women on the established LA art scene. The paintwork features symmetrical patterns that were typical of the time. It also includes enigmatic symbols, such as the Celtic cross. Chicago describes the motif as a vaginal shape impaled by a phallic arrow on a masculine car hood: “A clear symbol of my state of mind at the time.” 

It’s also worth noting that to paint this, Chicago actually studied car painting techniques at an auto body school in LA, which was a pretty male-dominated environment, giving some context to what she said about the work. And, you know, she learned how to really paint cars, like that other famous American painter, Earl Sheib.

Chicago did a few of these painted car hoods, but this one in Stockholm is an interesting one to try to guess because it’s one of those hoods that’s harder to place out of context. Think you know what it is? Take a guess!

The answer is here. Now you’ve had some culture, first thing in the morning! How’s that feel? Good, right? You’re welcome.




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