I was going to run this piece for Modern Art Monday, but this story is so compelling it’s now under New York Times Sunday Edition. Anyway, I have a surprise for Modern Art Monday.
This is a very interesting story by the New York Times author Daniel McDermon, as he described telling how the Corvettes stored in his building were in various states of decay, and then moved. As the author has stated, the cars were the center of a tale of intrigue, outrage, and failed dreams. So read more after the jump:
There are 36 Corvettes at the heart of this story, and it all began in 1989, when the fledgling video music channel VH1 needed to break into the big time, and sponsored a contest in which the grand prize was 36 Corvettes, starting with a 1953 model, to include one from each year all the way up to 1989. The contestants had to call a 900 number (1.3 million in all, and they payed a $2 fee!) and one winner was drawn. The winner was a carpenter from Long Island, Dennis Amodeo.
Dennis was flown to California where he was presented the cars’ keys by musician Mike Love of the Beach Boys. It was around this time that the artist Peter Max heard about the contest, and invited Mr. Amodeo to the artists studio in Manhattan. A deal was struck, where Max would pay $250,000 in cash, artwork valued at $250,000, as well as a percentage of the proceeds for any future sale, up to $1 million.
Again, according to the author, Max’s original idea was to paint each car in the vivid, often saturated colors he is known for, but a legal battle with the I.R.S. delayed any such notion for the time being. A new plan was drafted in which Max would take the collection up to 50 cars, and the painting of the cars would be a blend of vintage Peter Max, and respect for the Corvette Enthusiast, whatever that is suppose to mean.
It looks like for the time being, the cars are being relocated from their slumber under a Brooklyn apartment building, said to be once the Daily News printing plant, to their new storage facility in Upper Manhattan. If you want to read this fascinating article, click on this link.