• 10.8.14

    Volkswagen Shares the Secret Cities of America

    Cities inspire us. They excite us. They are homes and hostels. They show us worlds we never knew, and new ways to see what we've always known. Everyone's city is different, even if they live in the same one, and each version is an intimate secret.

    To celebrate their new Golf, Volkswagen wanted to show off the cities that go unseen; the energies and spaces of places known to those who love, visit, and live in these places but unknown to the novice. The unsharable stories and the unshakeable inductions. They wanted to show the cities in America that are privately seen, and they chose artists to be the guides.

    Commissioning a handful of artists including Andrew Bannecker, Jeff Soto, and Jeremyville, VW used the Golf as the actual canvas to paint these private stories.

    Andrew Bannacker got to illustrate Washington, DC. He put together a veritable map of the US capital showing off presidential monuments, the White House, the capital, the zoo, and even a presidential motorcade. But Bannecker is savvy and didn't forget that Washington, DC is in the context of the mid-Atlantic United States. He shows off the crabs of Maryland, and the football and hockey of the locals. It's classic aesthetics and a faceted look at one of the most complex cities in America.

    Jeremyville composed the story of his New York City. Looking like an updated version of Saul Steinberg’s “View of the World from Morvan 9th Avenue,” Jeremyville imagines the city from a few intersections in the Lower East Side. In classic Jeremyville form, everything and everyone in the image is a character, from grumpy rats, to horrified hotdogs, to a cup of coffee and his phone. NYC is moving, in action, and on its way. It’s a maze of energy and flow, unstoppable, but he’s left a place for you.

    For Jeff Soto, it was Los Angeles. His LA is a little glitz, a little glam, and a lot of twilight. The sun and moon appear, ready for their close up, as the sun sets over the ocean with waves enough for surfing. The cityscape sits in the background with the burnished edges of the failing daylight, with stars and birds filling the sky. The watchful eyes of owls regard the streets and cacti, while a dragon slithers by a cat. Jeff Soto’s LA is quiet from a distance. He finds the peace of it and offers that peace.

    For VW, Artists Across America is about activating people. Inspiring them. They shared the visual stories of these cities, and anyone can take them home. They've made the entire collection printable, so that anyone can print, cut out, and assemble paper versions of these artist experiences. Not only that, they've also made the 3D version of the Golf available for anyone to print, blank. VW only highlighted five cities and five artists, but the idea is to empower all Artists Across America and the cities they live in.

    So print one out. Draw the experience of your city or your town. Join Andrew Bannacker, Jeff Soto, and Jeremyville. Tell the secrets of your home.

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