BMW have created a virtual tour of their famous BMW Art Car Collection with clips of all 17 ‘Art cars’ that have been produced from 1975 by internationally acclaimed artists from all four corners of the globe.
The video tour includes historic racing footage and clips of the artists creating these masterpieces. Andy Warhol is featured, as is Roy Lichtenstein and the latest BMW Art Car creator, Jeff Coons.
The original idea for the Art Car Collection came from French race driver and auctioneer Herve Poulin, who had American ‘mobile’ artist Alexander Calder, design his BMW 3.0 CSL in the early 1970’s. This was the first time that motorsport and art had collaborated and even better when the car raced in the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans.
It’s fair to say that Herve Poulin invented the ‘Art Car’ He has taken part in the Le Mans 24 Hour Race on eleven occasions, driving cars painted by such famous artists as Calder, Lichstenstein, Stella, Arman, Warhol and César.
Herve said of his idea:
“One day I said to myself, now is the time to do something grandly communicative and heroic and unite my two passions, by having my racing cars painted by leading artists of the time.”
What the BMW Art Car artists said of their work
“My design is like a blueprint transferred onto the bodywork.” Frank Stella
“I pondered on it for a long time and put as much into it as I possibly could.” Roy Lichtenstein
“I love that car. It has turned out better than the artwork.” Andy Warhol
“I think mobile museums would be a good idea. This car is the fulfilment of my dream.” Robert Rauschenberg
“Ndebele art has, in an entirely natural way, something slightly formal but very majestic about it; through my work I have added the idea of movement.” Esther Mahlangu
“The car has wonderful lines which I followed.” David Hockney
“By bringing together art, design, social and environmental issues, I hope to contribute to a different way of thinking-feeling-experiencing cars and seeing them in relation to the time and space in which we live.” Olafur Eliasson
“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.” Jeff Koons