Designed by Jeff Koons, this BMW M3 GT2 is the 17th BMW Art Car, and was unveiled in the Centre Pompidou yesterday (The same venue where Roy Lichtenstein first presented and signed his Art Car back in 1977). The car will participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France on June 12 and 13. For further information on this project as well as the history of it, see below.
Since 1975, artists from throughout the world have turned BMW automobiles into art signifying a particular period through the Art Car programme. In 2007, the latest instalment was revealed with Olafur Eliasson’s “Your mobile expectations: BMW H2R project.” Many of the cars by the likes of Warhol, Lichtenstein, Stella, Rauschenberg, Hockney and Holzer have been exhibited in renowned museums throughout the world including the Louvre, the Guggenheim Museums, and the Shanghai Art Museum. They have been displayed at the BMW Museum in Munich, between 2006 and 2010 and many went on a world tour throughout Asia, Russia, Africa, India, the United States and Mexico.
The Koons car number, “79”, pays tribute to the 1979 Andy Warhol car. The Warhol car was assigned the number “76,” an homage to the 1976 Frank Stella car, both of which raced at Le Mans. The home of all BMW Art Cars is the BMW Museum in Munich. Starting in September, Koons’ 17th BMW Art Car will be presented there together with some of its predecessors.
With over 100 major projects worldwide, BMW Group cultural programmes have been an integral part of the company’s contributions to society for almost 40 years. Besides contemporary art, architecture and design, classical music and jazz are key components of this engagement.
As part of his creative process, the artist collected images of race cars, related graphics, vibrant colours, speed and explosions. The resulting artwork of bright colours conceived by Koons is evocative of power, motion and bursting energy. With its silver interior as well as the powerful exterior design, the Art Car will impart a dynamic appearance even when it’s standing still.
Travelling back and forth to Germany many times since the 2nd February announcement that Koons would create the 17th BMW Art Car, the artist has worked with the BMW engineering and design teams to conduct in-depth explorations of materials and application options that will prove crucial to optimizing both the aesthetic and aerodynamic attributes of the race car. Working with actual 3-D computer-aided design (CAD) models of the BMW M3 GT2, Koons was able to simulate the application of the graphic to the car’s surfaces and evaluate it from all angles.
Under Koons’ direct guidance and supervision, his BMW Art Car was produced in association with a team of BMW engineers and designers at Schmid Design, near Munich. The challenge to create the BMW Art Car had to do with using a light material and a design that would not interfere with the race car’s aerodynamics and weight. Timing was also an issue, as there was only a two month window between the first design sketches and the Paris world premiere. This is why digital print on car wrapping vinyl was used covered by a double clear-coating to bring out the colour.
Source: BMW Blog