The Newest BMW Art Car Revealed at Art Basel Miami
December 2016
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The Newest BMW Art Car Revealed at Art Basel Miami
Conceptual artist John Baldessari designs a BMW Art car

The latest model in the BMW Art Car series, a BMW M6 GTLM, was recently showcased at Art Basel 2016 in Miami Beach. Its destination following the art show was the race track of the grueling Rolex 24 at DAYTONA.

The Art Car series began around forty years ago, and this newest vehicle is the 19th to be commissioned under its name. It was designed by the California-based conceptual artist John Baldessari, who attended the unveiling and shared information about the meaning and artistic process behind his design.

Baldessari shared the fact that although he had created an image of a car in the past, he had not worked on any other projects that featured vehicles prior to this. So, the processes of designing an Art Car was a completely new experience for him. Both the subject matter of a vehicle and the fact that the resulting piece of artwork would be a functional, three dimensional vehicle and not a two-dimensional representation stretched his artistic limits.

"A challenge I did enjoy!" he described. "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."

Although it was a new artistic medium for Baldessari, he was sure to incorporate his signature style throughout the design. Anyone familiar with his work will immediately recognize his artistic signature in the form of his iconic dot motif and minimal color palette.

"The dots have been used by Baldessari on images appropriated from film, television, and advertising in a way that at once enunciates and undermines their visibility, in time growing big enough to cancel out whole people or scenes," according to Architectural Digest Contributor Brett Berk. "Though as an object, the BMW Art Car is undeniable and cannot be disguised or dissembled, the dots serve a similar dual purpose."

Baldessari's work is legendary in the LA art scene, where his minimalist designs and playful outlook have captivated attention and acclaim for 50 years. His traditional color palette of red, yellow, blue and green emphasizes his appreciation for simplicity, as do his monochrome dots.

The word "FAST" is displayed across one side of the vehicle, while a two-dimensional image of the car is featured on the other side. This reflects the multi-dimensionality of the race car, which functions as an art object while simultaneously occupying the role of a race car.

"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," said Baldessari. "So you can say, the BMW Art Car is definitely a typical Baldessari and the fastest artwork I ever created!"

The vehicle made its first debut at an exclusive reception that took place at the Botanical Garden of Miami Beach during the VIP Preview day. Afterwards, it was set up on public display for all visitors to Art Basel.

To learn more about this and other BMW Art Cars, visit

This article is presented by New Century BMW in Alhambra, California.

Published by New Century BMW
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