Corporate News

Mercedes-Maybach X David LaChapelle

Avant-Garde Art Collaboration Unveiled

Words Ash Ford
April 17, 2024
Avant-Garde Art Collaboration Unveiled
Words Ash Ford April 17, 2024

In a collision of automotive opulence and artistic ingenuity, Mercedes-Maybach and renowned photographer David LaChapelle have once again joined forces to redefine the boundaries of cultural influence. The result? A triumphant trio of original artworks, unveiled amidst the glitz and glamour of Milan Design Week.

At the heart of this collaboration lies a shared ethos of pushing creative boundaries. Daniel Lescow, Head of Mercedes-Maybach at Mercedes-Benz Group AG, encapsulates this sentiment, affirming that “Culture and creativity are at the heart of Mercedes-Maybach.” But it’s not just about cars; it’s about crafting an unparalleled brand experience, and who better to breathe life into this vision than David LaChapelle?

David LaChapelle, Cubist Scape, 2024. Photography. Mercedes-Benz Art Collection. This artwork has been created in collaboration between David LaChapelle and Mercedes-Maybach. The use of this photography is only permitted in connection with editorial coverage of the collaboration “Maybach x David LaChapelle” (2024).

David LaChapelle, Cubist Scape, 2024. Fotografie. Mercedes-Benz Art Collection. Die Fotografie ist in Zusammenarbeit zwischen David LaChapelle und Mercedes-Maybach entstanden. Die Verwendung dieser Fotografie ist nur im Zusammenhang mit einer redaktionellen Berichterstattung über die Kollaboration „Maybach x David LaChapelle“ (2024) gestattet.
David LaChapelle, Cubist Scape, 2024. Photography. Mercedes-Benz Art Collection. This artwork has been created in collaboration between David LaChapelle and Mercedes-Maybach. The use of this photography is only permitted in connection with editorial coverage of the collaboration “Maybach x David LaChapelle” (2024).

LaChapelle, a maestro of color and composition, embarked on a journey through art history, drawing inspiration from the revolutionary movements of Cubism, Futurism, and Surrealism. These art epochs, with their daring perspectives and avant-garde aesthetics, mirror Maybach’s own evolution from engineering marvel to symbol of aspirational design.

The challenge was formidable: seamlessly integrate the Mercedes-Maybach within the artistic tableau without overshadowing the composition. LaChapelle’s meticulous attention to detail, coupled with his penchant for analog techniques, ensured a harmonious fusion of automotive prowess and artistic flair.

The unveiling took place at The Gallery Meravigli, where guests were treated to an immersive experience that transcended mere exhibition. The set design, a testament to LaChapelle’s visionary approach, transported attendees into a realm where art and automotive design converged in a symphony of creativity.

Each artwork tells a story, weaving together elements of history, fantasy, and whimsy. “Cubist Scape” pays homage to the pioneers of Cubism, with its interplay of shapes and colors echoing the movement’s radical departure from traditional representation. Meanwhile, “Future Scape” transports us to an alternate reality where the Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV stands proudly alongside the Egyptian pyramids, a nod to the era of Futurism and its obsession with technological progress.

Lastly, “Surreal Scape” beckons us into a dreamscape reminiscent of 1930s Paris, where the Mercedes-Maybach GLS reigns supreme amidst a backdrop of theatricality and whimsy.

But this collaboration isn’t just about creating art; it’s about preserving it for posterity. Following its premiere in Milan, these masterpieces will find a permanent home within the prestigious Mercedes-Benz Art Collection, ensuring that they continue to captivate audiences worldwide.

David LaChapelle’s oeuvre extends far beyond the realm of photography, encompassing music videos, films, and stage productions. His work, characterized by its boundless imagination and irreverent spirit, has left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of the 21st century.

As for Mercedes-Benz, the Art Collection stands as a testament to its unwavering commitment to cultural enrichment and social responsibility. With exhibitions spanning the globe, the collection serves as a beacon of diversity and inclusion, celebrating artists from all walks of life.

In the realm where art and automotive innovation intersect, Mercedes-Maybach and David LaChapelle have forged a partnership that transcends mere collaboration; it’s a celebration of creativity in its purest form.


Embarking on a new chapter of cultural influence, longstanding partners Mercedes‑Maybach and David LaChapelle have reunited for a collaboration that spotlights the brand’s iconic roster, resulting in three original artworks. Driven by the powerhouses’ shared creator values and through the adoption of three of the most influential art movements, the outcome is a visionary interpretation of art and automotive design.

The artworks were unveiled on April 16th at an exclusive cocktail evening held at The Gallery Meravigli, during Milan Design Week. A live representation of the collaboration, the event recreated the set design of one of the concepts in an immersive and art-focused experience.

“Culture and creativity are at the heart of Mercedes-Maybach, but so is pushing boundaries in automotive and beyond. We are delighted to reunite with our long-term partner and pioneer artist David LaChapelle, to create a one-of-a-kind Maybach brand experience.”
Daniel Lescow, Head of Mercedes-Maybach at Mercedes-Benz Group AG

“Mercedes-Maybach has a great tradition of investing in artists and supporting the fine arts. By cultivating a world of engineers, designers and artists, Maybach inspires creativity within their products and beyond. It is an honour to be part of the Maybach legacy and play in that beyond!
David LaChapelle

United by shared creator values

Following no prescribed brief, LaChapelle approached art and three of its most impactful periods as the inspiration behind the Mercedes-Maybach commission: Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism. The selected art movements, groundbreaking for their time, perfectly allude to Maybach’s history as a pioneering piece of engineering turned aspirational design piece.

The challenge was to create artworks that seamlessly integrated the Mercedes-Maybach in an intentional way without drawing focus from the rest of the composition, which was achieved through LaChapelle’s meticulous approach to set-design.

Given LaChapelle’s passion for analogue, the set’s exquisite technical characteristics, precision and craft play a significant role in the creative process and final output. The live production also allowed for collaboration between talents, art department and crew which included acrobatics, four-time Academy Award Winner for Best Costume Design, Colleen Atwood, and LaChapelle’s longstanding set design collaborator, Annie Sperling.

The artworks

Titled “Cubist Scape”, the Cubism-inspired artwork took reference from several artists who initiated the movement. Playing on a juxtaposition of shapes, colours and methodical acrobatics, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is seamlessly integrated within the frame due to its metallic and glowing sheens, reflecting the energy this period is known for.

The collective cultural interest in Egyptology and Egypt’s advanced civilization set the tone for the Futurism artwork, titled “Future Scape”. Drawn from LaChapelle’s imagination, the Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV (Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV, energy consumption combined: 24.1-22 kWh/100 km | CO₂ emissions combined: 0 g/km | CO₂ class: A)[1] stands alongside the Egyptian pyramids, each an engineering triumph. Acrobats and flying machines complete the scene in a whimsical and humorous tableau.

A new take on the Surrealism movement that plays on Paris in the 1930s and its collective of artists, LaChapelle’s “Surreal Scape” focuses on a repetition of forms and unconventional elements grouped together. The Mercedes-Maybach GLS (Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600, energy consumption combined: 14.2-13.9 l/100 km | CO₂ emissions combined: 321-314 g/km | CO₂ class: G)1 is balanced in a landscape of juxtaposing scale where elements of theatre, dance and music are represented through the artist’s signature style.

Following the premiere at the Gallery Meravigli in Milan, the artworks will become part of the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection and will later be shown at various occasions worldwide.

About David LaChapelle

Through his mastery of colour, unique composition and imaginative narratives, LaChapelle has expanded the genre of photography. His staged tableau, portrait and still life works challenged devices of traditional photography and his work quickly gained international interest.

Today, LaChapelle is one of the most published photographers throughout the world with an anthology of books including “LaChapelle Land” in 1996 and 2017’s “Good News”. His work has expanded into music video, film and stage projects, with many of his still and moving works becoming iconic archetypes of America in the 21st Century.

In 2023, LaChapelle was honored with the “Lorenzo il Magnifico” Lifetime Achievement Award at the XIV Florence Biennale. Over the past 30 years, LaChapelle has exhibited internationally in galleries and museums including the National Portrait Gallery and Victoria and Albert Museum in London as well as Musée d’Orsay in Paris, Palazzo Reale in Milano, National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. and many more.

About the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection

The Mercedes-Benz Art Collection was founded in 1977 and is today one of the most important European corporate collections, having achieved an international reputation with its museum-quality artworks. The collection includes around 3,000 works by more than 800 artists such as Cao Fei, Alicja Kwade, Charlotte Posenenske, Oskar Schlemmer, Franz Erhard Walther and Andy Warhol. It focuses on abstract-constructive pictorial concepts and critical-engaged art, as well as representative and commissioned works on themes such as automobility, design and construction. The Art Collection embodies Mercedes-Benz’s broad social commitment to culture and education and reflects the company’s wish to create a recognizable benefit for the common good.

With exhibitions of the artworks within the company and in international museums (e.g. Los Angeles, London, Johannesburg, Bilbao and Tokyo), the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection makes it possible for a broad public interested in art to experience the collection. It attaches great importance to the acquisition of contemporary art in order to contribute to a responsible support policy for young artists. Furthermore, the art collection is strongly committed to diversity: its collecting practice is consistently geared towards international artists and the diversity of cultures and views.

[1] The stated values were determined in accordance with the prescribed WLTP (Worldwide harmonised Light-duty vehicles Test Procedures) measurement procedure. The ranges shown refer to the European market. The energy consumption and CO₂ emissions of a car depend not only on the efficient use of the fuel or energy source by the car, but also on driving style and other non-technical factors.