BMW celebrates 35 years of rolling art.
Since Alexander Calder painted a BMW 3.0 CSL in 1975 to race in the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, a number of celebrated artists have created 16 other rolling pieces of art for BMW. The latest, by Jeff Koons, celebrates 35 years of BMW Art Cars and was unveiled at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France to 300 international VIP guests.
The latest BMW to proudly bear the creative artwork of a renowned artist is the number “79” BMW M3 GT2, to pay tribute to Andy Warhol’s 1979 Group 4 Race Version BMW M1. For inspiration, Koons compiled numerous pictures of racecars, speed, explosions, and dynamic colors. “These race cars are like life, they are powerful and there is a lot of energy,” said Koons. “You can participate with it, add to it, and let yourself transcend with its energy. There is a lot of power under that hood and I want to let my ideas transcend with the car – it’s really to connect with that power.”
Koons’ vision of power and energy translated into a vibrant and dynamic exterior design that showcases the speed of the BMW M3 GT2, even when the car is at rest. The captivating colors and lines depict intense acceleration, highlighted by two rings that simulate the GT2’s supersonic speed. At the rear of the car are illustrations of debris to symbolize the awe-inspiring power sent to the rear wheels.
To create the 17th BMW Art Car, Koons worked with BMW engineers and designers at Schmid Design, (ORT), Bavaria. In just two months, Koons and his team were able to create a design that would not interfere with the car’s aerodynamic and weight properties. The process involved translating Koons’ 3-D CAD designs into 2-D, and then digitally printing them onto car wrapping vinyl. The vinyl was then applied to the entire car, including spare parts and covered by a double clear coating. During the car’s unveiling at the Centre Pompidou, Jeff Koons finished his artwork by adding his signature to the rear bumper.
The 17th BMW Art Car will participate in the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race on June 12-13. Driving the #79 M3 GT2 will be Andy Priaulx (GB), Dirk Müller (DE) and Dirk Werner (DE).