Automobile Creator

Images courtesy of BMW

The 19th addition to BMW’s prolific Art Car collection was revealed last week during an exclusive Art Basel premiere at the Botanical Garden in Miami Beach. This year, famed American conceptual artist John Baldessari transformed a BMW M6 GTLM coupe into a moving canvas that encapsulates his artistic vision. In keeping with the minimalist style he's become famous for, Baldessari treats the car’s exterior frame with a stripped down combination of color, shape, and text.

Baldessari says the Art Car project felt like uncharted territory, as he's never explored the automobile as a medium. Baldessari says, “I like the ambiguity, having two-dimensions and three dimensions at the same time.” The artist carefully addresses each plane of the car as its own separate canvas. Red, green, blue, and yellow paint was carefully applied onto the wing, roof, and front bumper of the car. Baldessari painted the word “fast” onto the left door of the car, adding a layer of satire to the composite image while making the physical power of the car’s 585 horsepower engine visually accessible. The door on the right-hand side is marked with a simple sticker graphic that shows a side profile of the car itself, a sort of self-reflexive nod to the Art Car project.

Baldessari says, “Considering the car as an icon of contemporary life, my concept turned out playfully satirical, but it also highlights some of the trademark ideas that I use. So you can say, the BMW Art Car is definitely a typical Baldessari and the fastest artwork I ever created!”

This year, Baldessari joins a renowned list of Art Car artists selected by BMW. Since the project was first introduced in 1975, the German auto manufacturer has tapped artists like Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, and Jeff Koons. You can browse the entire collection of BMW Art Cars on BMW’s website.

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