To celebrate their involvement in the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London, BMW took over a disused multi storey in Shoreditch at the edge of the City financial district. On display were selection of the Art Cars which have been produced between 1975 and 2010. Above is shown the first BMW Art Car done by Alexander Calder in 1975 using a 3.0 CSL as his canvas.
1990 535i by Matazo Kayama.
The 1979 M1 painted by Andy Warhol.
Viewed from the rear showing the scale of the rear wing and the diff hanging out of the bottom.
1991 525i by Esther Mahlangu taking her inspiration from South African tribal artwork making for the bold geometric patterns.
The bold and colourful 1989 E30 M3 by the Australian artist Ken Done. One of my favourite cars of all time and a beautiful vibrant design to compliment it.
1992 3 series touring car by the Florentine artist and sculpture Sandro Chia with the slightly haunting facings covering the entirety of the car.
1991 Z1 by A.R. Penck and the 1995 850 CSi of David Hockey (his attitude was to turn the car inside out with his dog on the backseat visible and the drive on display).
Another angle of the Hockney 850 CSi with the chimneys on the bonnet representing the engine cylinders.
Ernst Fuchs' 1982 635 CSi who took inspiration for the design from a dream that he had when he was 5 years old. The flames around the wheels are rather different from the tradition design but are wonderful in the metal.
Another angle of the Fuchs car showing the leaping, translucent green hare on the bonnet.
The most recent Art Car designed by Jeff Koons using an M3 GT2 as his base. The car was painted for the 2010 Le Mans 24 hour race and had its grand unveiling at the Centre Pompidou in Paris: the same location that had been used for the Roy Lichtenstein Art Car in 1977.
In the race itself the car had a huge accident but was repair and has been displayed a number of times since including runs at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The Art Car which I have always found difficult to understand until I was standing next to it: the 1999 V12 LMR by Jenny Holzer. The phrases on the bodywork read:
PROTECT ME FROM WHAT I WANT
THE UNATTAINABLE IS INVARIABLY ATTRACTIVE
YOU ARE SO COMPLEX YOU DON’T RESPOND TO DANGER
LACK OF CHARISMA CAN BE FATAL
MONOMANIA IS A PREREQUISITE OF SUCCESS
WHAT URGE WILL SAVE US NOW THAT SEX WON’T?
The Frank Stella painted 3.0 CSL from 1976.
Roy Lichtenstein's 1977 E21 320i which raced in the Le Mans 24 hour that year and finished 9th overall and 1st in class.
Lastly, another E30 M3 this time painted by Michael Jagamara Nelson with the design based on Papunya paintings produced by the Aborigines in Australia.