John Baldessari Designed BMW Art Car Debuts At Art Basel

“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.”

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BMW introduced art car number 19, an M6 GTLM, by legendary artist John Baldessari at Miami Art Basel on Wednesday night. The art cars of the marque are priceless works of automotive art. Great artists like Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, and Jeff Koons have made art cars for the German carmaker.

The track debut of Baldessari's Art Car will be at the 24 Hours of Daytona next January. The car will also compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The drivers for this masterpiece are Bill Auberlen, Alexander Sims, Augusto Farfus, and Bruno Spengler.

The art car was unveiled by BMW's North American President, CEO Ludwig Willisch, director of BMW Motorsport Jens Marquardt and Baldessari himself.

Willisch said, "It is an honour to add this new masterpiece by John Baldessari to the BMW Art Car Collection today. As one of the most important contemporary artists working today, John joins an incredible group from Calder and Hockney to Warhol and Koons that has contributed to this collection over the past 40 years.

"He has used his signature aesthetic combining colour, shapes and text to create a visually stunning work which will stand out at both the museum and on the racetrack in Daytona early next year."

Los-Angeles based conceptual artist is well-known for his famous minimalist style and he applied that to the M6. He used red, yellow, and green colour scheme, monochrome dots, and a picture of M6 on the doors.

"I have done only one work in my life involving a car before, and that was an image of a car. So for the BMW Art Car project, I entered uncharted territory, not just in terms of the subject, but also moving from two- to three-dimensional art," Baldessari said.

"The ideas all came at once; for instance, the red dot on the roof, so you can see it from above, FAST on one side and a picture of the car on the other side. I like the ambiguity, having two-dimension and three-dimension at the same time.

"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!"

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