Modified Art

A point that was driven home time and again during Super Bowl mania is that Scottsdale throws a bumping party. Some of us, though, like our shindigs more locally focused and arty, which is why we’ll be in Old Town when the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art shines a spotlight on pimped-out, highly modified lowriders with a couple of dovetailing events.

Radical Mod kicks off the evening with a public showcase of lowrider cars, bikes, and music by L.A.’s “punk-mariachi-hip-pop” party band Los Super Elegantes from 5 to 9. SMoCA Nights: Drive ups the ante from 9 to midnight with a lowrider/bikini-babe fashion show.

Radical Mod organizer Liz Cohen, whose work is featured in SMoCA’s current “Car Culture” exhibit, will be displaying one of her creations, an ’87 East German Trabant converted into a ’73 Chevy El Camino. “I’m actually becoming an unusual member of lowrider culture myself,” the artist tells New Times. “Lowriders raise the question: What counts as art? The cars are amazing, especially the paint jobs -- highly narrative and full of family history.”

Radical Mod, she adds, is also about context, lowrider and otherwise. Says Cohen, “The show also raises the question: Who belongs in Scottsdale and why?”

Thu., March 20, 9 p.m.-midnight, 2008
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Peter Breslin