BMW art cars

8 August 2012

Roy Lichtenstein BMW art car

BMW brought 16 of its 17 “art cars” to London recently, as part of the cultural festival that accompanies the Olympic games. The cars have gone now, but while they were on show I was lucky enough to pay them a visit.

The art cars are a truly unique collection of BMW vehicles, each decorated by a different artist. The first dates from 1975, the most recent from 2010, and together they present a dazzling variety of styles.

The 16 cars were arranged over several floors of a multi-storey car park in London’s fashionable Shoreditch. The area is, appropriately, plastered in ambitious graffiti of varying levels of success.

Incidentally the missing 17th art car was absent due to the challenging nature of its composition. Olaf Eliasson’s 2007 work, based around a BMW hydrogen-fuelled concept car, is mostly composed of carved ice – making it tricky to display in a tall building open to summer breezes.

Since these are art cars, you’ll have to forgive me for attempting arty photos. Here are my efforts at recording the scene:

Alexander Calder art car3.0 CSL
Alexander Calder

Frank Stella art car3.0 CSL
Frank Stella

Roy Lichtenstein art car320 Group 5 race car
Roy Lichtenstein

Andy Warhol art carM1 Group 4 race car
Andy Warhol

Ernst Fuchs art car635 CSi
Ernst Fuchs

Robert Rauschenber art car635 CSi
Robert Rauschenberg

Michael Jagamara Nelson art carM3 Group A race car
Michael Jagamara Nelson

Ken Done art carM3 Group A race car
Ken Done

Matazo Kayama art car535i
Matazo Kayama

César Manrique art car730i
César Manrique

A. R. Penck art carZ1
A. R. Penck

Esther Mahlangu art car525i
Esther Mahlangu

Sandro Chia art car3-Series Touring Car prototype
Sandro Chia

David Hockney art car850 CSi
David Hockney

Jenny Holzer art carV12 LMR race car
Jenny Holzer

Jeff Koons art carM3 GT2
Jeff Koons

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