Julie Mehretu's BMW Art Car Set to Race at Le Mans

A BMW M Hybrid V8 racecar sporting motifs from her monumental painting ‘Everywhen.’

Automotive
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The 20th BMW Art Car, designed by renowned contemporary artist Julie Mehretu, was unveiled today at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. This special BMW M Hybrid V8 racecar is transformed into a performative work of art, continuing BMW’s tradition of blending art with competitive racing. Soon, it will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Mehretu, based in New York, collaborated closely with motorsport and engineering teams to create this unique car, describing it as a “performative painting” that will only be fully realized after it races in Le Mans. Oliver Zipse, Chairman of BMW AG, praised Mehretu’s work, highlighting its inspiration for BMW’s expanded cultural commitment to support young African artists.

Mehretu’s design incorporates elements from her monumental painting Everywhen, using abstract forms and colors to create a dynamic and energetic look. The design was achieved with 3D mapping technology, fitting the car’s contours perfectly. The car will also be showcased at the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este in Lake Como before heading to Le Mans, displayed alongside other historic BMW Art Cars by artists like Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons. Mehretu will discuss her creation at the event on May 26, 2024.

Beyond the art car, Mehretu and BMW will organize Pan-African Translocal Media Workshops to foster creativity among young artists. These workshops will take place in cities like Dakar, Marrakech, and Cape Town, with the results showcased at the Zeitz Museum. Learn more by visiting BMW’s website.

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