Tag Archives: jay ohrberg

Short Ride in a Kitsch Machine

Parched and bored, I staggered around the Internet Desert, looking for something to spark my interest. The morning was only beginning, and already I was staring into the white abyss of a google image search with caffeinated blood an empty skull.

“Pink Panther,” I typed into the search box.

I like the Pink Panther. He’s cool under fire. Imperturbable and Inimitable. The pink incarnation of sangfroid.

He also has a sweet car; have you ever seen it?  It looks like this:

JayOhrberg_Pink-Panther+13 JayOhrberg_Pink+Panther

Jay Ohrberg, Pink Panther Car

Clicking on this image, I found myself drawn into an oasis of polaroid photos and retro cars. What was this website?


WWW.JAYOHRBERG.COM, nearly every one of the pictures insisted with their enormous watermarks.

Who is this Jay Ohrberg? Apparently he makes cars. And he’s very, very good at it.

JayOhrberg_Bat+skiboat JayOhrberg_Bathtub+car JayOhrberg_Black+Moon+Rising+1 JayOhrberg_Calico+Surfer

There’s something wonderful about Jay’s work. It’s over-the-top, painfully corny, and reeks of nostalgia. It’s silly.

JayOhrberg_Flintstone+4 JayOhrberg_Mini+Too+Much

As I clicked through Jay’s enormous (and not very user-friendly) image gallery, I began to wonder about the people who had commissioned these cars. He had done work for several major films, including the Terminator, Ghostbusters, and one of the Batman pictures. There were also a lot of tribute cars, commissioned by the dedicated fans of Elvis, Marylin Monroe, James Dean, etc.

Then I began to wonder about the man himself.

He didn’t have “taste”. The cars are loud, maybe even obnoxious. Very low-brow. He had a “friends” page on his website, and it was just photos of him posing with people. Really? No one does that, not on a professional website. He wasn’t an artist in the true sense of the word, right?


JayOhrberg_Monkee+mobile+post JayOhrberg_Pinocchio JayOhrberg_Sand+Draggin JayOhrberg_The+Invader

To dismiss Jay’s work would be a mistake. As tacky as some of his vehicles are, each one of them is charming. There’s something admirable about Jay; there is always something admirable about people who are dedicated to doing what they love, and doing it well. He probably brings other people a lot of joy too.


Keep it up, Jay Ohrberg!