17 | Jeff Koons

May 13, 2011

in BMW Art Cars

BMW Art Car: 2010 BMW M3 GT2

BMW Art Car: 2010 BMW M3 GT2

This BMW M3 GT2 was aesthetically reworked by the US artist Jeff Koons and is the latest model in the BMW Art Cars series. It was unveiled to the world at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in June 2010 – to great acclaim! The media and art magazines from all over the world carried reports on the 17th model in the Art Car series. The car bears the racing number 79 – a tribute to the BMW M1 body work-over presented by Andy Warhol in 1979.

The striking colours of Koons’ Art Car exude a boisterous sense of power, motion and energy. As with Warhol’s M1, Koons’ BMW also participated in the legendary Le Mans 24-hour race. Koons’ desire to paint up an Art Car was expressed in an interview way back in 2003; an honour for BMW as Koons is one of the most successful concept artists in the world. Even during the recent economic crisis his works demanded immense sums.

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BMW Art Car 17 | Jeff Koons | United States | 2010 BMW M3 GT2

As part of his creative process, the artist collected images of race cars, related graphics, vibrant colors, speed and explosions. The resulting artwork of bright colors conceived by Koons is evocative of power, motion and bursting energy. Its silver interior along with the powerful exterior design, the Art Car will impart a dynamic appearance even when it’s standing still.

“These race cars are like life, they are powerful and there is a lot of energy,” said Koons. “You can participate with it, add to it and let yourself transcend with its energy. There is a lot of power under that hood and I want to let my ideas transcend with the car – it’s really to connect with that power.”

Koons has been in an intense collaboration with BMW’s team in Munich for months – melding his skill with sophisticated BMW engineering – to ensure that the 17th BMW Art Car will be race-ready for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Traveling back and forth to Germany many times since the February 2 announcement that Koons would create the 17th BMW Art Car, the artist has worked with the BMW engineering and design teams to conduct in-depth explorations of materials and application options that will prove crucial to optimizing both the aesthetic and aerodynamic attributes of the race car. Working with actual 3-D computer-aided design (CAD) models of the BMW M3 GT2, Koons could simulate the application of the graphic to the car’s surfaces and evaluate it from all angles.

Koons even donned a helmet and joined BMW’s American Le Mans Series race team for testing in Sebring, Florida, on February 23. Koons was able to experience the M3 GT2 at race speed to further inspire his design. As Koons describes it, he witnessed “the raw unfiltered performance” of the M3 GT2 from the seat of a historic BMW M1 race car. Koons also drove a BMW M3 Coupe on the circuit to further the dynamic exercise.

Under Koons’ direct guidance and supervision, his BMW Art Car was produced in assistance with a team of BMW engineers and designers at Schmid Design, outside Munich. The challenge to create the BMW Art Car had to do with using a light material and a design that would not interfere with the racecar’s aerodynamics and weight. Timing was also an issue, as there was only a two month window between the first design sketches and the Paris world premiere. This is why digital print on car wrapping vinyl was used covered by a double clear-coating to bring out the color.

To apply hundreds of dynamic lines of Koons’ design onto the car, CAD designs were translated from 3D into 2D for the printing process and then painstakingly applied to the entire car as well as onto individual spare parts. Koons design incorporates many bright contrasting colors to communicate the aesthetics of power. The concept design was transformed into hard edged lines of color. Graphics of debris were added to the rear sides and back of the car to simulate the power of the car. Furthermore, two graphic rings on the rear of the car represent supersonic acceleration.

Sources

  • BMW AG
  • BMW Art Cars

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