Revealed earlier this year, following collaboration between BMW and Garage Italia Customs, the BMW i8 MemphisStyle model is as close as you would get to an original BMW Art Car without actually having that title. Those interested in seeing in live on the North American continent will be glad to learn that the car will be showcased at the Frieze Art Show on Randall Island from May 5-7.
The announcement came from BMW this week, as the show is getting ready to open its doors. The collaboration between the German brand and the New York exhibition has been going for six years now and apart from showcasing this special i8 in 2017, the Bavarian brand will also provide shuttle services using its 7 Series flagship for the VIPs present.
But what does MemphisStyle mean, exactly? The Memphis Group revolutionized the world of design by being an antithesis to functionalism and any commercial logic in the 1980s. Founded in 1981 by Ettore Sottsass Jr., the group’s style was provocative and inspired by movements like Art Deco with its geometrical shapes and Pop Art with its bright colors and Kitsch. The BMW i8 MemphisStyle, thus, blazes in a colorful brightness with horizontal and vertical lines along with hypnotic patterns decorating the surface. Those contrasts display the pure expression of rebellion and liberation from the rigid standards of traditional design.
As part of this year’s schedule, BMW will host a couple of events focused on art and design. On May 4 from 5:00 -7:00 p.m. BMW will also host a conversation at the opening of the BMW Lounge on Memphis Design entitled, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Memphis Design Rocks.” Carl Gustav Magnusson, industrial designer, and Dr. Thomas Girst, Head of BMW Group Cultural Engagement, will take a look at this unique project and the connection between creative potential and the courage and challenges of innovation.
Furthermore, today, Deana Lawson and Dashiell Manley, two well-established and ambitious artists, will speak about the challenge of “How to Make it in the Art World”, moderated by Lynette Lee. On May 6th, the artist and innovator Daan Roosegarde, Jessica Lax of the Van Alen Institute and Dr. Thomas Girst, Head of BMW Group Cultural Engagement, will provide “A Journey into the Future” by giving an outlook about future landscapes and designs.