Artist Chris Silva has a bone to pick with the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Silva was invited to participate in a show curated by Mike D of the Beastie Boys last month, wherein artists were asked to bring their own projector to display art on the museum’s walls. Silva opted to shine a 3D wire model of a Peugeot prototype Le Mans racer vertically. After the race car spent a bit of time shining brightly, Silva came back to his projector to see a note card taped over the lens. When he removed the card, an event organizer told him he would have to remove his image because the show’s sponsor found it offensive.
The “Transmission LA” was sponsored by none other than Mercedes-Benz. Silva claims that when he asked to speak with a Mercedes representative, he was denied after being told, “they are pissed.” Silva has a history of using automotive imagery in his art, including Mercedes-Benz wheels. Not anymore, he says. The artist says the experience won’t so much change his art as “my opinion of the materials I work with.”
*UPDATE: Mercedes-Benz has informed us it was a third-party, not the automaker itself that interfered with Silva’s work. The company says the unnamed party did not have the authority to ask the artist to remove his piece, nor did he speak directly with Mercedes-Benz during the show.