BMW Art Cars are taking over Shoreditch

David Hockney, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein are just a few of the members of a stellar artistic cast helping transform a drab multi-storey car park in Shoreditch this week.

Esther Mahlangu,1992
Esther Mahlangu,1992

From Saturday, the NCP car park in east London will be taken over by a series of BMW ‘art cars’, showing vehicles given a very unique twist. All of tem have ben adapted over the 35 years in which the BMW Art Car project has been running in a collaboration between BMW and the ICA.

Michael Jagamara Nelsin Art Car 1989
Michael Jagamara Nelsin Art Car 1989

Among the works on show will be cars by Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Ernst Fuchs, Robert Rauschenberg, M.J. Nelson, Ken Done, Matazo Kayama, César Manrique, Jeff Koons, A.R. Penck, Esther Mahlangu, Sandro Chia and Jenny Holzer.

We love the bright, bold blocks of colour on Cesar Manruieq’s car, which was created in 1990:

Cesar Manrique, 1990
Cesar Manrique, 1990

And the tribal look of A.R Penck’s 1991 model is pretty striking too:

AR Penck's Art Car, 1991
AR Penck’s Art Car, 1991

For Hockney’s piece, he decided to focus on the car’s interiors to create its exteriors. ‘BMW gave me a model of the car and I looked at it time and time again. Finally, I thought it would be a good idea to show the car as if one could see inside,’ he says.

Warhol Art Car, 1979
Warhol Art Car, 1979

For his 1979 creation, Andy Warhol looked to velocity to inform his work. He says, ‘I have tried to give a vivid depiction of speed. If a car is really fast, all contours and colours will become blurred.’

Jeff Koons, 2010
Jeff Koons, 2010

Jeff Koons, meanwhile, took something of a JG Ballard approach. ‘These race cars are like life, they are powerful and there is a lot of energy. You can participate with it, add to it and let yourself transcend with its energy’, he says.

Sandro Chia Art Car 1992
Sandro Chia Art Car 1992

BMW Art Car Collection will be on display from 21 July – 4 August at NCP Multi-Storey Car Park, 35 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A

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