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BMW Art Cars; 1975 – 2010

Posted on July 13th 2010

Jeff Koons design for the 2010 BMW M3 GT2 art car.

Art cars designed by: Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Ken Done (clockwise from top left)

Art cars designed by: Cesar Manrique, A.R. Penck, Esther Mahlangu and David Hockney  (clockwise from top left)

I’ve just returned from a long weekend in France. I went there to watch the Le Mans 24 Hour Classic race in which vehicles of yesteryear race around the imposing 14k track. Whilst wandering around the paddock, I saw several BMW art cars up close. I also discovered this years stunning car which was designed by artist Jeff Koons.

According to bmwdrives.com “The concept for the BMW art cars was introduced by Hervé Poulain, an auctioneer and ardent racing driver from France. Poulain was searching for a link between art and cars and he asked his friend and renowned artist Alexander Calder to paint a rolling canvas on the BMW 3.0 CSL that he would race in the 1975 Le Mans endurance race. Poulain’s 3.0 CSL was the first car to create a symbiosis between the world of art and the world of motorsport. Prompted by enormous enthusiasm for this work of art on wheels, BMW then decided to put its brilliant idea of establishing the Art Car Collection into practice.”

Since 1975 there have been 17 different art cars designed by the likes of Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Ken Done, Cesar Manrique, A.R. Penck, Esther Mahlangu, David Hockney, Olafur Eliasson, Robin Rhode and Jeff Koons. BMW have certainly picked some big names over the years, so I’m not expecting a call from Germany just yet, but considering my love of cars, I think this would have to be a dream job. Maybe one day…

Images from: bmwdrives.com

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