BMW picks Jeff Koons as artist for next Art Car

If you're at all familiar with contemporary art, then you know that Jeff Koons is a triple, double-dog super megastar. Deeply controversial within the art world (Koons is a former stock broker that copied Andy Warhol's Factory techniques and hired an image consultant), Koons is perhaps best known for his three gold leaf sculptures of Michael Jackson and his chimp, Bubbles. Some of Koons' pieces have sold for more than $25 million – and if you ever find yourself at the Moderne Kunst in Berlin, be sure to check out the sexy sculptures of Koons and his then-wife la Cicciolina – the porn star and Italian member of parliament – doin' it.

BMW, for one, seems to have taken notice, and has asked Koons to build/style its next Art Car. As it happens, this is the 35th anniversary of the automaker's Art Car program. There aren't any details yet as to what Koons has in mind (nor even which BMW will get the treatment) but the car will be "revealed later in the year." Ironically, we've already speculated on what a Jeff Koons designed car might look and behave like. Regardless of the finished product, Koons joins a veritable who's who of contemporary modern artists that have turned out BMW Art Cars, including Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Jenny Holzer, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg, and Alexander Calder. Press release after the jump.

View 30 Photos

[Source: BMW | Image: Mira Oberman/AFP/Getty Images]

Press Release

Jeff Koons to create new BMW Art Car

Internationally acclaimed artist Jeff Koons has been announced as the next in a distinguished line of artists who will be creating BMW Art Car in what is the 35th anniversary year of the programme.

Speaking from his New York studio, Jeff Koons said: "I always thought it would be an honor to work on a BMW Art Car, I look forward to participating in a tradition set forth by such great artists as Calder, Lichtenstein, Stella, and Warhol."

The Koons BMW Art Car will be revealed later in the year. Details of the model and preliminary design will be announced in due course.

Koons will join an illustrious group of artists that include Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Jenny Holzer, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg, and Alexander Calder – each of whom has made a unique artistic statement about the appearance and meaning of cars.

Koons and BMW

Koon's relationship with BMW started more than two decades ago when he first drove a BMW whilst living in Munich, home to the BMW Group headquarters. It was in 2003 that Koons first expressed his desire to create a BMW Art Car.

Frank-Peter Arndt, member of the Board of Management for the BMW AG and responsible for BMW Group's international cultural formats, said: "We are enormously pleased about Jeff Koons' eagerly anticipated contribution to the BMW Art Car series, celebrating its 35th anniversary. Art Cars are part of the DNA of BMW's cultural engagement. As manifested in Koons' latest sculptural work, what unites us is the belief that nothing is impossible. Our company and Jeff Koons are drawn to permanent innovation and cutting-edge technology."

BMW Art Cars

Since 1975, artists from around the world have turned BMW cars into art, signifying a particular period, through the Art Car program. In 2007, the last installment was revealed with Olafur Eliasson's "Your Mobile Expectations: BMW H2R project." Across the globe many BMW Art Cars have been exhibited in renowned museums throughout the world including the Louvre, the Guggenheim Museums, and the Shanghai Art Museum. They have been displayed at the BMW Museum in Munich, since 2006 and many went on a world tour throughout Asia, Russia, Africa, India, the United States and Mexico.

With over 100 major projects worldwide, BMW Group cultural programs have been an integral part of the company's contributions to society for almost 40 years. Besides contemporary art, architecture and design, classical music and jazz are key components of this engagement.

Share This Photo X