"After Market Wheel"


Date:  1996


18 ft. x 8 ft.


Porcelain on steel

Commissioned By:

Pep Boys

Art Consultant:

Michelle Isenberg and Associates, Inc.


4520 South Sepulveda Boulevard, Culver City, California


Six colorful porcelain-on-steel panels illustrate a contemporary view of design and automobile accessorizing in popular Los Angeles culture. The imagery is drawn from a series, Auto Malapropos, specifically utilizing the wheel and hub cap elements of contemporary vehicles. In the Auto Malapropos Series, the hub cap illustrates a hyper-specific segment of in-culturalization of the automobile.  See narrative, below.

See also:

“Stirring Designs,” “Auto Malapropos”



In “After Market Wheel,” the artwork echoes the City of Culver City’s history and contributions to California’s rich car culture.  The 18’ x 8’ piece is baked porcelain enamel on metal in six panels, employing a window motif on the Pep Boys storefront. 

California car culture and style are exemplified by the wheel, a universal icon for the automobile.  The artwork specifically features three wheel elements that mirror the City’s considerable connection with early automotive development and contemporary issues of transportation and style.

The three wheels, in their geometry from early to contemporary automotive design, represent:

DeWitt J. Brady, well-known in the 20’s and 30’s as an auto racing enthusiast and owner of a Buick dealership on Washington Boulevard.  Brady also influenced the City of Culver City’s early transportation system, owning his own bus company and garage next door to Hal Roach Studios.

The midget auto track, a Culver City landmark at the corner of Walnut and Washington.  It went from a 1/4-mile, banked, asphalt course to a 1/2-mile, figure-eight track.  It was popular with the public and was, among other things, used in the movies.

Asa Prettyman who, in 1910, pioneered Culver City’s automotive spirit by riding on the fenders of race cars on the local speedway, giving tune-ups.  He established a garage which still exists today.

Culver City’s and California’s dependency and enthusiasm of the car and transportation are explored and illustrated throughout the design. 

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