The German Car and Motorcycle manufacturer, BMW is celebrating its 100th year of existence this year and in these 100 years it has established itself as one of the most reputed brands across the globe. With a century old history full of brilliant car and motorcycles, BMW has given us a lot to dream about and awe at the sheer technical grit of the Germans. We have discussed how among all the splendid stars of the BMW story, the magnificent BMW art cars stand tall for bringing the world of cars and the world of colours together to create masterpieces of engineering and art that are build to last even in the treacherous conditions of endurance racing. In the previous post, The Magnificent BMW Art Cars – The 70’s we had discussed how these gorgeous projects came into being for the first time in 1975 and then further discussed the first four of the art cars where we talked about the artists and their interpretations that mesmerised the world.
Here we take our journey through these Magnificent BMW Art Cars further and talk about the next seven art cars in the list. These span from the year 1982 to the year 1991, by this time the world was well aware of what could be achieved when artists are left free to express them with cars, the BMW Art Cars have made there mark.
1982 BMW 635 CSi Art Car by Ernst Fuchs –
In order to create the fifth installment of the magnificent BMW Art Cars, BM looked towards Austria to get the services of the Austrian Painter, Ernst Fuchs who got a chance to create an art car out of a 1982 BMW 635 CSi. Fuchs took inspiration for his creation from a dream he had when he was a 5 year old kid and is said to have expressed great experiences such as, fears, desires and implorations, but along with them he also expressed his free artistic creation. He named his art car creation ‘Firefox on Harehunt’, and in his words his creation represented a hare that was racing across a motorway at night while leaping over a burning car. Fuchs tried to capture the primeval fear and a bold daring dream of surmounting a dimension in which we live. HE described the car as, “It tells me its colors, I read them in its lines and shape, I hear its speedy call and can already see the handsome hare leaping through flames of love, driving away fears.” We can say that Fuchs loved his creation and we can see just why.
1986 BMW 635 CSi Art Car by R. Rauschenberg –
The American artist born in 1925, Rauschenberg is considered to be among one of the most influential and prolific artists of the twentieth century. His addition to the magnificent BMW art cars history came in the form of the 1986 BMW 635 CSi Art Car which was the sixth car in the list. However, the Rauschenberg Art car was the first ever BMW art car to have been created by an artist using photographic methods to transfer images which included images of famous classical paintings on to the car. His creation, the Rauschenberg Art car was unveiled to the public in the year 1986 at the BMW Gallery, Park Avenue, New York City, and the car made its European debut in the year 1988 in West Berlin. Since then the Rauschenberg Art car has been exhibited across Europe and was a centerpiece of the acclaimed 1997 Rauschenberg retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
1989 BMW M3 Art Car by M.J. Nelson –
The seventh iteration of the magnificent BMW art cars project was created by M.J. Nelson, an Australian artist who worked tirelessly for seven days straight to create a master piece of Papunya art on ‘his’ black 1989 BMW M3 from the motorsports section of BMW Australia. An aboriginal artist Michael Nelson Jagamara born in 1946 grew up in the wilderness of Central Australia and remembered hiding in fear at his first sight of white men at Mt Doreen station. A senior Warlpiri tribesman and custodian of many Dreaming stories, M.J. Nelson believes it is his responsibility to preserve, in paint and print, the stories which can assist the teaching of others about his tradition and culture. It was this fact that his art car is a draft whose geometric shapes appear deceptively abstract which can be understood as aerial views of landscapes. They feature diverse forms symbolizing water, caves, men and animals – and simultaneously embody religious myths which have been handed down from one Aboriginal generation to the next in the form of rock and cave paintings for thousands of years.
1989 BMW M3 Art Car by Ken Done –
For the eighth project from the magnificent BMW art cars, BMW Australia’s Motorsport division gave Ken Done, an Australian artist born in 1940, a BMW M3 to decorate. Ken Done is known for his design work with his simple and brightly coloured images of Australian landmarks have adorned a very popular range of clothing and homewares sold under the “Done Design” brand. As for the project, Ken had very definite idea about what he wanted to do with the car. He wanted to express his fascination for this high performance car on one hand while on the other hand he wanted it to be typically Australian in nature, thus reflecting the vitality of his country. For this, Done, decided to go for exotic colors to add to the car along with painting parrots and parrot fishes on the car. In his words, these are the animals that particularly shared their two most interesting characteristics with the BMW M3: beauty and speed. The result is as appealing as it is original: Done’s Art Car symbolizes both immense dynamism and mysterious exoticism at the same time.
1990 BMW 535i Art Car by Matazo Kayama –
Matazo Kayama, a celebrated Japanese artist took the responsibility to design the ninth version of the magnificent BMW art cars project, and he did so by channeling his immense fascination of BMW’s technology and his desire to showcase his expression that evoke vivid associations with modern Japan. TO create his version of a BMW art car, Matazo took an all new approach to one of hi earlier themes, “Snow, Moon and Flowers” and painted them in a totally new way while using air brush on a 1990 BMW 535i. In order to emphasize the elegance of the car and to highlight the contrast, Kayama sprayed painted fine blue shadows on the parts of the cars silver bodywork and then used classical Japanese techniques in his second phase of design; he used techniques such as “Kirigane” which is a form of metal cutting and “Arare” which is foil impression. He cut out small pieces of silver, gold and aluminum foil individually and transferred them to the bodywork. This has resulted into an art car that reflects timeless aesthetics and at the same time lends an extraordinary elegance to the creation.
1990 BMW 730i Art Car by Cesar Manrique –
The tenth car in the magnificent BMW art cars project history was designed by Cesar Manrique and he had a clear point of view on the design of the 1990 BMW 730i. In the eyes of Cesar, the automobile is an indispensable feature of daily life and it greatly influences the way we see the world around us. Thus it was no surprise, when designing the car, Manrique particularly decided to concentrate upon combining the notions of speed and aerodynamics with the concept of aesthetic appeal in one object.” And looking at the end result, he succeeded well in his endeavor with a car dressed in glowing colors and broad, sweeping strokes which blend into the outlines of the car are suggestive of effortless gliding and graceful movement.
1991 BMW Z1 Art Car by A.R. Penck –
In the eyes of the creator of the eleventh design of the magnificent BMW art cars project, the 1991 BMW Z1 was already a work of art which beautifully reflected the creativity and the fantasy of the engineer and designer who made it. A.R.Penck, a celebrated artist from East Germany, took his inspiration for this work from the cars technical design. Penck used the modern appearance of the car as a background in contrast to the sign language, which in its appearance was as simplistic as the prehistoric cave paintings, but, these signs were at the same time provided a challenge to the observer, as the apparently straightforward symbols, evolved by a long process of abstraction, are in fact ciphers to be decoded.
Stay tuned with us as we bring the next part of our series on the magnificent BMW Art Cars, Drive Safe!