Indianapolis-based Walter Knabe has been named the official artist of this year's Indianapolis 500. Past Indy 500 artists include Peter Max and LeRoy Neiman. Knabe is the first Hoosier to land the gig.
Knabe, who has worked with Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, has been a staple on the Indianapolis art scene for the past 15 years. His work is featured in the private collections of Neil Simon, Spike Lee, Bill Cosby, Madonna, Michael Jordan and Caroline Kennedy and has been publicly presented at Trump Plaza, the Paris Casino in Las Vegas, Walt Disney World and the White House.
I haven't seen the 500 work yet (it will be revealed this month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway), but I'll safely say that whatever Knabe creates will be a marked improvement over that of 2009's Thomas Kinkade.
Find an IBJ review of a recent Knabe show here.