BMW’s Art Car history is a special one for fans of the Bavarian brand. For forty years, BMW has hired famous artists to design and paint special BMWs. Some of the most famous BMW Art Cars were Alexander Calder’s BMW 3.0 CSL and Andy Warhol’s BMW M1 Group 4 racer. There have truly been some spectacular Art Cars in BMW’s history. Now, there will be another added to the collection.
John Baldessari’s interpretation of the BMW M6 GT3 was recently unveiled in Miami Beach, with the aforementioned artist present, as well as BMW NA President and CEO Ludwig Willisch and Jens Marquardt, Director of BMW Motorsport.
Baldessari, an American master of conceptual art, was very excited to work on the M6 GT3, as it’s a project like no other he’s ever worked on. “I have done only one work in my life involving a car before, and that was an image of a car. So for the BMW Art Car project, I entered uncharted territory, not just in terms of the subject, but also moving from two- to three-dimensional art. A challenge I did enjoy! The ideas all came at once: for instance, the red dot on the roof, so you can see it from above, FAST on one side and a picture of the car on the other side. I like the ambiguity, having two-dimension and three-dimension at the same time. Considering the car as an icon of contemporary life, my concept turned out playfully satirical, but it also highlights some of the trademark ideas that I use. So you can say, the BMW Art Car is definitely a typical Baldessari and the fastest artwork I ever created!”
Baldessari is famously a minimalist and that’s evident in his M6 GT3 design. But he’s also quite conceptual in his art and he plays on the multi-dimensionality of the automobile by adding an image of the car on the door of the car in profile.
Baldessari’s M6 GT3 is one of the simpler and more minimalist BMW Art Cars in the brand’s history, but it’s certainly one of the better ones. It helps that he had a great looking canvas to start with, but his design doesn’t take anything away from the functional beauty of the M6 GT3. If anything it enhances the functionality and simplistic beauty of the car. So while his work might not be the most exciting Art Car yet, it’s one of the better looking.