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“BEYOND THE STREETS” virtual art fair was created as a response to what’s going on in the world currently and focuses on video content and commerce as it relates to contemporary art. It’s a celebration of art, creativity and pop-culture and will feature exclusive paintings, sculptures, editioned prints, skate decks, drawings and more. The virtual fair will also include exclusive drops, brand collaborations and thought-provoking discussions and panels though a series of videos curated by culture historian Roger Gastman.  The line-up includes industry luminaries like Action Bronson, Felipe Pantone, FUTURA2000, Guerrilla Girls, Kenny Scharf, Pushead, Shantell Martin, Estevan Oriol, Shepard Fairey and Mister Cartoon!

Mister Cartoon will be giving away his custom-designed 1988 Nissan Hardbody that was inspired by the SoCal mini truck scene in the ‘80s. Valued at $250,000, the package also includes a tattoo session with Mr. Cartoon and will take place during this year’s BEYOND THE STREETS virtual art festival, which will be live streamed through the NTWRK app on December 5th and 6th. You can enter via their free app on www.thentwrk.com

A Note from Mister Cartoon

Classic lowriding was becoming played out in Los Angeles in the late 80s scene, but the mini truck world caught fire. Mini trucks were light, affordable, sturdy and easy to modify. Everybody wanted to get their hands on the Nissan Hardbody in ’88.

Street tastemakers and neighborhood hustlers made these trucks famous in the hood—especially the Nissan Hardbody. It was only in production from 1986 to 1997 and was the successor to the Datsun 720. The Hardbody came straight out of Nissan’s styling studios in San Diego and sold worldwide. This new mini truck revolutionized the car scene in Southern California as a sporty mid-size truck that you could customize at the dealership—rare at the time—with a choice of candy-colored paints, deep dish Dayton wire wheels, plenty of room in the bed for bass speakers and a shape that easily lent itself to hydraulics. It was the choice vehicle for showcasing one’s own personal style on the boulevard.

Old school hydraulics were used to alter the height and stance of the trucks, then tilt beds were born and it shocked the world. The mini trucks with their customized beds could dance at car shows and in front of night clubs all night long.

When I graduated from San Pedro High School in 1988 these trucks were far from my grasp. Guys I looked up to were rolling them in the streets and I would dream about how I would build mine and what color I would paint it. In 2010 I manifested one of my dreams when I bought a candy cobalt blue 1988 Nissan Hardbody that I found on the east side of town. It also had a tuck-and-roll interior done by the best interior guy in the business. It was in this guy’s garage, which was like a time capsule from the 80s. I could see that only top-of-the-line materials were used because it looked brand-new even then, as it does today.

I put my own stamp on it by adding deep dish Dayton Wire Wheels with a Zenith chrome knock-off. I added hydraulics—a tilt bed with four batteries to keep it elegant, a navy blue canvas top and a large wrap sunroof in the bed’s SnugTop. In the interior I added a vintage Nardi wood steering wheel and Alpine heads to pump the Rockford Fosgate subs and woofers.

This truck has 70 thousand original miles on it. It’s been a homebody Hardbody—kept in a garage its entire life, never in an accident, smoked in, or ever left the state. This truck is a part of lowriding history as it represents a time in the 80s, when automotive style expression was lawless and cruising meant freedom.

For the BEYOND THE STREETS virtual Art Fair on NTWRK they commissioned me to paint a mural on the hood to make it even more popping. We are doing a contest on December 5 & 6 to give the mini truck and a tattoo session away. I’ve had this truck for ten years but it feels like it’s been with me my entire life. It’s really hard for me to part with – but this year has been a wild ride and if it can bring someone else as many memories and happiness as it brought me then it’s doing its job.

Someone is going to luck out and have some new wheels to flex in – and I see a clown tattoo in the future…

-MISTER CARTOON, Los Angeles, 2020

The Downlow on his 1998 Nissan Hardbody “Blue Dream”

  • 16-by-8-inch Dayton wheels on Falken tires
  • Hydraulic suspension with 2 pumps and 5 batteries
  • Chrome grill, side mirrors and cowl cowl
  • Candy paint House of Kolor cobalt blue over a silver flake
  • Mural done with House of Kolor candy and PPG urethane enamel by MISTER CARTOON
  • Steering wheel and shift knob by Nardi
  • Alpine head unit and Rockford Fosgate amplifiers and subwoofers
  • Retro Mitsubishi car phone
  • Tuck and roll interior by Mark from Elegance Auto Interiors in Upland
  • Custom bed shell window hand done by MISTER CARTOON

IG/Twitter: @misterctoons | www.mistercartoon.com 

NTWRK | https://thentwrk.com | IG: @ntwrk

Beyond The Streets | IG @beyondthestreetart