BMW Art Cars Project was initiated by the French racecar driver Herve Poulain in 1975. His first idea was to have his BMW racing car painted in an unique way, and the man hired for the job, was the American artist Alexander Calder. Over time, there were many contributors to the BMW Car Art program, names that include: Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, David Hockney or Jenny Holzer.
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BMW Art Cars have been exhibited by numerous museums and galleries throughout the world, including the Louvre in Paris, the Palazzo Grassi in Venice, and the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao. These unique cars have inspired many BMW fans across the world and recently we have seen some interesting personal projects.
One our readers based out of Dubai, Sheldon Rodriguez, has turned his 330ci into a replica of a BMW Art Car and the result is impressive. In the next few paragraphs, he will tell us the story behind this project and where the inspiration came from.
“I’m a Visual Interaction Design Specialist by profession and a very passionate BMW fan. Being in a region that is surrounded by exotics and supercars, the desire to customize vehicles as per individual persona’s, it’s really hard not be influenced. Having the advantage of being a designer and understanding art, I was not far off from creating something fairly unique in the region. I have an E46 330i, 2002 model, with a body that has been completely modified, leaving only the roof untouched, and an unique shade of metallic gray with a matte finish. From front bumper to doors and to the rear bumper, I have redone everything from scratch to have a model that gives the feeling of an individual, unique model.
I’ve enjoyed doodled art, a spontaneous form of outline art, and to see this reflected on a Lamborghini really had me in awe. BMW Art cars was an inspiration, especially the one made by Andy Warhol. Over a period of time, there happened to be another BMW fanatic, Travis Todd, who took a bold step in doodling his hood. His project has influenced myself further to have the same art form on my BMW – but this time, taking it to the next level.
The artwork is a collaboration with another artist, Mark Ganzon. Dividing the car into two, the holistic theme was to have the left drivers side make use of sharp angled strokes to depict the evil, while the right passenger side to make use of open rounded strokes to depict the good. All the art was done with three sharpies permanent marker, and was quite a task to have it covered on the surface of a car. There was no pre-planning involved in the drawing process and relied heavily on our design backgrounds. Since we had our full time jobs to focus on, the project was completed after working hours; about 3 hours every evening – the heat and humidity during the summers presented some challenges in having a smooth completion. After three days of intense sessions, the project was completed and the outcome was outstanding. The art was protected with a layer of matte lacquer to retain the original look of the car.
Being a integral part of the BMW Club in the UAE and this project being the first of its kind in the Middle East, I take this opportunity to thank the fellow members of the club and the E46Fanatics.com for being an inspiration.”