Keeping true to its long-time sponsorship of artists, BMW’s Romanian arm presents yet a new collaboration with a local artist. Following the hugely successful partnership it had last year with Adrian Mitu, who painted 101 iconic pictures from BMW’s 100-year history in coffee, it’s now time for Andra Mihai to share the spotlight, showcasing her bold interpretation of Bavarian shapes in the Drea//M exhibition.

What does Drea//M stand for, you might ask. It’s the fruition of a year’s worth of work from the 26-year old painter, who joined forces with BMW to bring to life a collection of 12 works of art which you may mistake for photographs if you’re not paying close attention. That’s because her hyper-realist style combines markers, crayons and pastels along with paint to create truly immersive paintings which stem from BMW’s Motorsport legacy.

From the E9 CSL model to the iconic M1 and the more recent BMW M6 GT3 model, legendary cars have been brought to life by Andra in her first exhibition. Were you to find yourself at the exhibition you’d be hard pressed to figure out who drew them though, as I found her to be a quiet and down-to-earth kid of girl, just strolling around the paintings beautifully displayed at the Automobile Bavaria showroom in Bucharest, which also happens to be the only BMW M authorized dealer in the country. If the PR representative wouldn’t have pointed me in her direction, I might’ve missed the chance to learn her story.

It all started when she was a little girl and found herself somehow fascinated with her dad and his car, unlike other girls around her, who seemed to prefer playing with dolls instead. This spark was apparently enough to kindle a fire that grew over the years, helping her make some bold decisions. Like most of us, she started working at a big multinational company but soon realized that this line of work wasn’t for her.

From getting singled out for painting in her lunch break instead of gossiping with the rest of her team, to getting fired for staying overtime at the office to paint and not to work, she found solace in getting a job at a car shop, just so that she could be close to what she really loved: cars. Now, she wants the world to take in her work and BMW was there to help.

“We found a lot of passion infused in a series of works dedicated to the BMW brand and this honors us. We’re glad we were able to reward this considerable effort with an exhibition with the help of the Automobile Bavaria Baneasa dealership and we’re proud Andra is kicking off her career though a collaboration with us. BMW has a unique tradition of working with plastic artists. We started developing such projects a while back and we’re proud we add yet another name to our list,” Alex Seremet, Corporate Communication Manager BMW Group Romania told us.

As for Andra, she told us she’s been doing this for 7 years but this is her first time showing her work in front of a live audience in a formal environment. According to her, a lot of credit for how her work is shaping out goes to a tattoo artist and the trash-polka style, which explains the abundant usage of various hues of white, black, grey and red. Combined with a hyper-realist approach, the end result is quite stunning, as you can see in the photo gallery below. Her works are for sale and you can learn more or order one here.