The last time the American artist worked on a BMW Art Car was more than a decade ago.
This April, Christie’s New York will auction off a Jeff Koons signed car from the limited edition of the new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe. Proceeds of the sale will go to the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC).
This project is the latest in a growing list of artist-car collaborations, an initiative pioneered by French race car driver and art aficionado Hervé Poulain and the founders of BMW Motorsport Jochen Neerpasch. the first BMW Art Car was commissioned in 1975 when Alexander Calder was asked to design Poulain’s BMW race car. Since then, 19 artists, including Roy Lichtenstein, Jenny Holzer and David Hockney, have created BMW Art Cars.
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The 8 X Jeff Koons is said to be the most elaborately designed vehicle in the carmaker’s history and follows several years of close collaboration.
“On the car, the lines are getting bigger on their journey from the hood towards the trunk, creating a sense of forward movement just as the ‘POP!’ and the vapor thrust design elements do,” Koons says in Christie’s online catalogue. “The blue color resembles the vastness of space and I like the idea of the car being a global car. What matters is how we relate to each other and our awareness of everything we are surrounded by. For the driver and all passengers, there is a heightened state of pleasure. This is what my car has to offer.”
The lot’s beneficiary organization, ICMEC, wants children all over the world to grow up safe from exploitation, sexual abuse, and abduction. In the past two decades, it has been empowering communities in more than 120 countries with tools, training, and technology to fulfill its mission.
This car, however, will not be one-of-a-kind as BMW reveals that 99 (“no more, no less”) will be produced. The goal and intention, as BMW CEO Oliver Zipse explains on the company website, is for the edition to “not only be displayed as a coveted collector’s item in museums but will also be allowed to flourish on the road as a genuine BMW.”
This is not the first time that Koons has worked on an Art Car. In 2010, Koons designed the 17th BMW Art Car, the BMW M3 GT2, which competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“Koons has really gone for it in designing the special BMW 8 Series. And he spared no effort in the process,” describes BMW. “The design combines an amazing eleven colors from blue to silver and yellow to black. The blue reminds him of the vastness of space, Koons explains. The interior continues in an exclusive vein: high-quality materials and the finest leather are inspiring. The seats are in striking shades of red and blue, the colors of superheroes from the comic book universe—and those of BMW M.”
The 8 X Jeff Koons will be on view at Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza from April 1 to 4, and the livestream will be broadcast on the Event.Gives platform where clients also can register to bid online.
Banner Photo from @jeffkoons on IG