Art and Exotic Cars / by Alex Young

 Art and Exotics' art car painted by Baron Batch photographed by Alex Young

Art and Exotics' art car painted by Baron Batch photographed by Alex Young

The blue Porsche 996 hummed around a corner. Pittsburgh's Downtown skyline blurred on the car's passenger door. This was not a reflection but paint, and specifically an image painted by Texas import, former football player, and foremost painter Baron Batch. The car's driver was Matthew DeSantis, a business owner, photographer, and supercar enthusiast.

 Via @matthewdesantis on Instagram

Via @matthewdesantis on Instagram

Other than an amazing piece of art, the 996 Carrera 4S is a traveling symbol that links Pittsburgh's creative and supercar communities.

In cities like Los Angeles or Miami, walkers and motorists regularly observe beautiful sports cars speeding down the highways or cutting through the Downtown streets. The cars' specialties are almost normal in these environments, so people may or may not stop to gawk at the vehicles.

Though foreign and high-performance vehicles are in Pittsburgh, DeSantis and his Art and Exotics event, an automotive art pop-up series, seek to make supercars consistently seen and relevant to a community that appreciates them most.

 "Anyone who drives these cars I want to know," DeSantis says. He is readily building a platform to showcase the exotic car community to Pittsburgh more creatively than the Auto Show or Vintage Grand Prix.

The Petrol Network, which DeSantis founded, connects car dealerships to the world of online influencing and implements an effective marketing strategy. The sports cars become more viewable thanks to promotion done by DeSantis and other media influencers on social network sites.

 "Move content across all social media platforms," he says. Utilizing Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter generates more followers, reaches more eyes, and further establishes a person's brand. While posting photos and videos of the cars and the actors in the creative community, DeSantis exposes two communities jointly, and perfectly promotes his Art and Exotics show.

 Matthew DeSantis in front of his art car

Matthew DeSantis in front of his art car

What is most interesting about the 21-year-old entrepreneur originally from Long Island, New York is the analysis he uses to dissect his business. He is well aware of logistics and understands that to build a following one needs cohesive and frequent content. "The most engagement for an event usually happens during the week leading up to the show," DeSantis says. Also, weekly meetings at the inclusive Unstuck Pgh help further develop his concepts thanks to the circle talks provided by fellow local innovators.

Along with the supercars, like the Lamborghini Huracan and BMW i8 on display, the main attraction at the event on August 26 at the Mattress Factory on the North Side is "The Artist," Baron Batch of Studio AM. Known for his colorful and spirited paintings of elephants, Pittsburgh cityscapes, open eyes, and inspiring text with upside-down exclamation points, Batch carries his genuine attitude over to the Porsche 911. An elephant, a symbol of wisdom and strength, with a horizontal heart line going across adorns the driver side door of the German car. "FREE" is artistically written across a bumper. White stars are at the front tip of the sports car.


When DeSantis thought of art and car to mix it only made sense for him to enlist Batch as the painter. The artist's work is widely seen on murals throughout Pittsburgh and at Studio AM in Homestead. New pieces from The Artist will also feature at the Mattress Factory.

The way Batch thoughtfully executes his positive ideas creates the same positive energy around the painted Porsche 911 and the Art and Exotics event.

 "It's easy to think the people that drive these supercars are snobbish, but we are trying to change that," DeSantis says.

Combining exotic, modern cars with art highlights the artistry behind automotive and artistic crafts. So, when the public attends Art and Exotics this Friday, creativity and imagination will be at the forefront.

Purchase tickets to the event presented by Petrol Network here.

Mattress Factory

500 Sampsonia Way

Pittsburgh, PA 15212