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The term "art car" is closely associated with BMW, which has a history of letting famous artists use its vehicles as rolling mechanical canvases. And the cars are memorable, too -- the Andy Warhol M1 leaps to mind. Well, late last month, Audi decided to throw its hat in the ring as well by commissioning Brazilian Pop artist Romero Britto to turn an RS4 into an art car for the brand with the interlocking rings.

Britto responded with what you see above. A colorful painting of a woman adorns the hood of the muscle sedan and extends through the rest of its bodywork. It made its debut at the Art Chicago fair in the Windy City at the end of April, and will tour other locations in North America before ending its run in Miami Beach, where it will be auctioned for charity. Full details after the jump.

[Source: Audi]


PRESS RELEASE:
AUDI UNVEILS RS 4 ART CAR DESIGNED BY POP ARTIST ROMERO BRITTO AT ART CHICAGO

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Audi will be the official automotive sponsor of Art Chicago, America's longest-running international modern and contemporary art fair. During Art Chicago, Audi will introduce the Audi RS 4 Art car created by Brazilian-born Pop artist Romero Britto.

Involvement in contemporary art and design has long been a component of Audi's corporate culture – partnering with some of the world's most renown shows – among them Design Miami/ 2006, the Armory Show 2007 in New York and latest Art Chicago. "Being involved in cutting-edge art events is a natural fit for Audi as a progressive premium brand" says Johan de Nysschen, Executive Vice President in charge of Audi of America. "Art Chicago is another opportunity for us to demonstrate our commitment to design by exhibiting the RS 4 Art Car which is a piece of art on its own."

Chris Kennedy, President of the Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc., adds: "We are very proud to have Audi come on board as exclusive automotive sponsor of Art Chicago. Audi has long been recognized a trendsetter in automotive design and dedicated to exploring innovative ideas and make visions come true which reflects the spirit of Art Chicago."

The Audi RS 4 is the ultimate in high-performance luxury, taking performance and design to the next level with its compelling and distinctive presence, 420-hp V8 engine and quattro® all-wheel drive.

Britto, a modern day pop culture icon, has been a fixture on the international art scene since 1989 when he was commissioned by Absolut Vodka, along with Keith Haring and Andy Warhol to design a bottle label for the company. Following on the heels of Absolut, Britto's whimsical Pop Art is consistently commissioned for corporate collections from around the world.

The Audi RS 4 art car is his most recent project. Being a car enthusiast, art cars have always been among Britto's favorite projects. "For the Audi RS 4, I wanted to create something that would combine sophistication, dynamism and fun on one hand, but also include the aspect of a future generation on the other – as Audi is an innovative and leading brand", Britto says. "This is why I came to choose the portrait of a woman as it incorporates all these attributes."

Following its debut at the exclusive Art Chicago Opening Party, the Audi RS4 Art Car will embark on a tour of some of the world's most captivating cities between New York and Mexico D. F. Super-bowl winning Quarterback Tom Brady will be the first to drive the Audi RS 4 Art car. The 'Audi RS 4 Art Car Collectors' Tour' will culminate in South Beach, Miami, where it will be the centerpiece of a Live Auction benefiting Best Buddies International, a non-profit organization founded by Anthony Kennedy Shriver.

Romero Britto is a longtime supporter and friend of Best Buddies. He most recently donated his image 'Best Buddies' to the Best Buddies Artist Collection featured at Art Chicago.

ABOUT Art Chicago

America's longest running international contemporary and modern art fair Art Chicago 2007 continues a 20-year legacy as the most influential event of its kind. Making its new home The Merchandise Mart, the epicenter for high design and luxury goods, Art Chicago takes it rightful place as one of the world's most important art events. Sophisticated collectors and art aficionados will find more than 125 of the world's most influential gallerists, featuring thousands of art works from the most influential and exciting artists in the contemporary art market today.

About Romero Britto

Vivid color, joyful themes and bold compositions are the fundamental elements that have led Romero Britto to become premiere Pop Artist of our time. Britto creates a completely new expression that reflects his optimistic faith in the world around him while alluding to influences of early and modern masters. Today he is collected by Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Caruso, Pele, Andre Agassi, Ted Kennedy, and Eileen Guggenheim among others.

ABOUT AUDI OF AMERICA

Audi of America, Inc. is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich. Audi's history in America dates to 1969, when the brand was first introduced to the U.S. market. Today, a network of over 260 Audi dealers currently offers a line of premium vehicles that include the Audi A3 premium compact; the sporty A4 sedan, Avant and Cabriolet models; the high performance S4 sedan, Avant and Cabriolet models; the high-revving RS 4 sports sedan; the design-leading A6 sedan and Avant; the all-new Audi Q7 performance SUV; and the all-aluminum Audi A8; and the new V10-powered S6 and S8 performance sedans.


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