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Maybach Zeppelin through the eyes of David LaChapelle - click above to view high-res NSFW gallery

While its enduring legacy will forever be crippling hyperinflation and the inability to fight the rise of Nazism, Germany's post World War I Weimar Republic has something of a positive, cultural heritage. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, theater, art, architecture (Bauhaus anyone?) and music all flourished in pre-Hitler Germany. Cabaret and promiscuity in general became so widespread that conservatives had to busy themselves banning jazz and passing laws against teenagers purchasing pornography. Long story short, Berlin was quite the place to be during the Jazz Age.

And not a bad place to shop for cars, either. Especially decadent, luxury cars. Like the dreamy Mercedes-Benz SSK. Or a stately Horch 430 Cabriolet Drophead Coupe. And even if we could forget the irrepressible 1931 Maybach Zeppelin DS 8, Daimler wouldn't let us. To wit, in order to publicize their brand-new Maybach Zeppelin, Daimler has retained the services of noted fashion/art photographer David LaChapelle and furnished him with both the new car and a lovely custard and black example of the OG 1931 Zeppelin. Here's how Daimler describes the collaboration:
"The renowned American photographer has chosen to collaborate with style icon Daphne Guinness to portray both vehicles in his signature fashion. With creative freedom entrusted to LaChapelle by Maybach, he created photos that whisk the observer to a world filled with luxurious extravagance that features LaChapelle's celebrated surreal tableaux."
Fair enough. There is actually something of a precedent here, as Andy Warhol created a 35-part series for Daimler in 1986 entitled, "Car." Coincidently, it was Warhol that discovered LaChapelle. As far as LaChapelle's photos go, we're showing you the much less interesting one here on the mainpage. There's a Not Safe For Work (nudity) gallery of the other stuff after the jump. Are they any good? Hard to say, but we are reminded of Hunter S. Thompson's description of Bazooko's Circus as, "what the whole hep world would be doing Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war... the Sixth Reich." See for yourselves along with a press release and a making-of video after the jump (NSFW).

[Source: Daimler]

Press Release

David LaChapelle portrays Maybach
  • World premiere of David LaChapelle's photographs presented by Maybach during Art Basel Miami Beach, December 5th
  • Maybach is accelerating its commitment to contemporary art
  • Combining art and social commitment based on the patronage model of the Wilhelm and Karl Maybach Foundation
  • Maybach – partner of Fondation Beyeler from 2010

Miami/Stuttgart. The Maybach automobile brand is accelerating its commitment to contemporary art. The focus is to work with internationally renowned artists like David LaChapelle and major institutions within the art community, like the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland.

The latest highlight of Maybach's artistic commitment is its collaboration with David LaChapelle, one of the world's most prominent photographers. His artistic portrayals of Maybach luxury cars entitled „Exposure of Luxury" and „Berlin Stories" will celebrate their world premiere during Art Basel Miami Beach, where they will be first presented to Maybach guests and the press at an exclusive preview on December 5th, 2009. This artistic work focuses on the Maybach Zeppelin limited special edition and its historic predecessor from the 1930s, the Maybach Zeppelin DS 8. "After visiting the Maybach facility in Sindelfingen, I was inspired to create two iconic photographs which radiated the same seducing and dynamic appeal, as the Maybach itself," said David LaChapelle.
The renowned American photographer has chosen to collaborate with style icon Daphne Guinness to portray both vehicles in his signature fashion. With creative freedom entrusted to LaChapelle by Maybach, he created photos that whisk the observer to a world filled with luxurious extravagance that features LaChapelle's celebrated surreal tableaux.
New view of the Maybach
The inspiration for this project was also characteristic of David LaChapelle. During a visit to the Maybach Center of Excellence in Sindelfingen, Germany in the spring of 2009, he was so impressed by the high-end sedans that he came up with an idea for a photo shooting, which he then completed in October 2009.
Patrick Marinoff, Global Brand Manager Maybach, supported the concept of LaChapelle's interpretation from the very start. "We are very honoured that such an exceptional artist like David LaChapelle, with his unusual and at times even rousing style, has interpreted the Maybach brand. The results speak for themselves; these are images that create a new view of the Maybach brand. I am convinced that the founder of the brand, Wilhelm Maybach – himself a great innovator in his time – would have also been delighted."
The artist created two motifs - one of the current Maybach Zeppelin and another of the Zeppelin from the 1930s photographed against a similarly themed backdrop. These photographs will become part of David LaChapelle's art collection, which will make their way to galleries, collectors and museums around the world. Later on a copy of each photo will go to the Daimler Art Collection. With over 1,800 works by some 600 artists – including stars such as Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons – this has grown since 1977 to become one of the leading corporate collections of abstract-constructivist, conceptualist and minimalist art of the 20th century (http://www.collection.daimler.com).
Linking art and social commitment
With this project David LaChapelle follows in the footsteps of Andy Warhol, who created a 35-part series for Daimler back in 1986 entitled "Cars" according to the theme "the car – an icon of mobility". An outstanding feature of this was his artistic interpretation of the legendary gull-wing Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. It was in fact Andy Warhol who noticed David LaChapelle's talent early in his career and provided him the opportunity to showcase his photography in Interview Magazine. The Wilhelm and Karl Maybach Foundation is also dedicated to this principle of supporting young and emerging artists through established mentors. In following in the same path, David LaChapelle is supporting the idea of patronage by providing the opportunity for an emerging photographer to share his experiences with him for a three months period in Hawaii – supported by Maybach.
This brings us full circle: Over a hundred years ago, Gottlieb Daimler met Wilhelm Maybach in the engineering works of an orphanage in Reutlingen, Germany and decided to take the extraordinarily talented young engineer under his wing. Maybach went on to develop a wide range of groundbreaking technical innovations.
Cooperation between Maybach and Fondation Beyeler
From 2010 Maybach will be the official partner of the renowned Fondation Beyeler in Riehen near Basel, Switzerland. "It's wonderful that Maybach is so committed to the arts. Their collaboration with artists and art museums opens the doors to creativity and promotes culture excellence. Both - art and Maybach - unite the ideals of permanent innovation, consciousness of tradition and a highly developed sense of aesthetics and quality. Thanks to its cooperation with Maybach, the Fondation Beyeler is able to chauffeur its artists and international guests in a saloon that treats them to a motoring experience of unparalleled comfort," said Sam Keller, director Fondation Beyeler.
A tradition of commitment to top-notch contemporary art
In 2005 Maybach supported the artist duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude with their sensational project "The Gates" in New York's Central Park. After additional projects, in August 2009 this was followed by the presentation of the Maybach Art Cars – designed by Tim Berresheim.
Thanks to the collaboration with David LaChapelle and the partnership with the Fondation Beyeler, the luxury carmaker is consistently strengthening its commitment to contemporary art and offering customers exclusive access to the art, artists and prestigious art fairs, the brand and the limousines. This mirrors precisely what Wilhelm Maybach had in mind when he created his legendary car: luxurious, fascinating and ahead of its time.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fix your jumps ab.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like a Lady GaGa music video
        • 5 Years Ago
        That reminds me. The 6th picture quickly reminded me of Lady GaGa.. I mean, look at the outfits!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      'daw-ling, could you stop at the old place; I think I left something in the safe.'
      • 5 Years Ago
      I keep thinking of Dave Chappelle.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So in 1932 everyone was naked in a penthouse with a Maybach parked in the middle of the room? Seems nicer than mile-long lines for soup.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lipstick on a pig.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Pig is the Maybach. My point being there's not much to be done to make it an attractive automobile.

        By the way, the Palin line is "Pitbull wearing lipstick."
      • 5 Years Ago
      The design is very beautiful picture, but a little played down the impression of the car, do not know if the designer wants is one such effect.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "I'm the Maybach Zepellin, b!tch!" :D

      I don't know how prospective buyers would be persuaded by these photos. In the 1st set, your bride-of-Frankstein wife burned down your house, and later takes her jewelry and your Maybach. In the 2nd set, one of those swingers could be your grandmother!
      • 5 Years Ago
      The post-apocalyptic picture of the Maybach speaks volumes about where the brand is headed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      One of the pic resembles lady gaga...the 6th photo
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess even during the great depression there were buyers of super luxury cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A Constable is art, a Japanese woodblock is art, a Dale Chihuly is art.

      This is quite possibly one of the most degenerate messages I've ever seen called "art".

      What this says to me is; drunken bulbous-nosed old men with a room full of whores with a safe filled with pearls, and Maybach automobiles, will be the only things to survive the apocalypse. The apocaplyse brought on by looter-bankers and CEO's that watch as their new Roman Empire falls.

      Maybach's aren't made by empty headed hedonists, so I don't see how this "speaks" of their brand heritage. If they're re-imagining themselves as a brand who caters to this clientele, I don't think they'll do better than they have been, and they'll soon be defunct again.

      Ever since they bastardized the original concept of the 1998 Maybach, I think look like the old Cadillac DTS.

      I see this as more of a slap in the face to Maybach, so I don't really understand why they authorized or sponsored it.

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