Among other things, BMW is famous for its art cars, and the newest, with exterior art and interior design by Jeff Koons, is available for purchase through the BMW website. In addition to those sales, one of the cars will be offered in a charity auction scheduled for April 4 at Christie’s in New York City.
BMW has announced it will produce only 99 examples for worldwide sale of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe customized by American artist Koons.
“With a unique exterior and interior personally customized by Koons, the limited edition is one of the most elaborate custom designs in BMW’s history, requiring several hundred hours of unique paintwork for each vehicle,” the automaker said in its announcement.
The car debuted in digital form February 16 and will be displayed at Frieze Los Angeles, an international art fair running February 17-20, and then will be shown at Rockefeller Plaza in New York from April 1-4 in anticipation of the auction.
“My edition of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is a dream come true,” Koons is quoted in the BMW news release. “It is completely unique, very special to me and I’ve wanted to create a special edition BMW for a long time.
“What matters is how we relate to each other and our awareness of everything we are surrounded by,” he continued. “This principle drove my creative vision for the 8 X Jeff Koons, and it’s an exciting next chapter of co-creation with BMW.”
“Working with Jeff Koons again has inspired us all – throughout headquarters and across our worldwide team,” said Oliver Zipse, BMW AG board chairman.“Never before in the history of our company has a BMW been created with such an extensive design effort as the 8 X Jeff Koons. A ‘rolling sculpture’ that will 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.”
BMW notes that, “Marrying rigorous conceptualism with commercial aesthetics, and spectacular displays with an unparalleled degree of technical finesse, Koons has repeatedly tested the limits of both fabrication and art history, simultaneously redefining Minimalism and Pop Art. Transcending time and geography, high and low culture, Koons’s art imparts a visual experience of the sublime.”
In its announcement, BMW said the car “represents one of the most extensive custom factory production processes ever undertaken by BMW.”
“The vehicle’s exterior features expressive and striking graphic design, combining eleven different exterior colors. Koons incorporated many shades of blue in particular, resembling the vastness of space, tying into the fact that the BMW 8 Series is a globally available product – a key theme of Koons’ work being without borders.
“The exploding lines of color at the rear are an homage to the artist’s 2010 BMW Art Car, an E92 M3 GT2 that was raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans; the ‘POP!’ on each side and “vapor thrust” imagery symbolize the vehicle’s power and speed.
“The multi-colored interior is comprised of high-end materials, fine leather and a cupholder lid with special ‘The 8 X Jeff Koons’ badging T paired with Koons’ iconic signature. The seats are made up of striking red and blue hues, evoking not only BMW’s high-performance M division but also the world of superheroes and comic books, a key inspiration in the theme of power that Koons brought to life in the special edition’s design.”
BMW said the exterior paint involves 11 stages and “several hundred hours per vehicle to complete.”
The cars are priced at $350,000 each.
One of the 99 vehicles will be offered for bidding at Christie’s auction in early April with proceeds donated to The International Center for Missing & Exploited children, a charity with which Koons has been involved for more than two decades.