To celebrate 35 years of its Art Car program, BMW announced today it has commissioned Jeff Koons, a New York City-based painter and sculptor, to decorate its latest Art Car.
“I always thought it would be an honor to work on a BMW Art Car. I look forward to participating in a tradition set forth by such great artists as Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol,” said Koons.
Koons first approached BMW in 2003 about creating his own Art Car, but the program itself dates back to 1975, when French race driver Hervè Poulain commissioned Alexander Calder to custom paint his BMW 3.0 CSL, which Poulain actually raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Since then, BMW has continued the program, commissioning notable artists to lend their touch to cars ranging from an M1 to a Hydrogen 7. In 2009, BMW broke from tradition ever so slightly by lending artist Robin Rhode a Z4, who used the roadster to create his giant “Expression of Joy” painting.
BMW has yet to reveal which model Koons will decorate, or where it will publicly display the work. Art Cars have toured some of the world’s most famous art museums, including the Louvre in Paris, France, and the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain, and were most recently displayed in a special installation within New York City’s Grand Central Station.