BMW's "Art Cars" roll into Grand Central StationHelen Walters
I recently sounded off about Mini’s partnership with Airstream on a one-off concept intended for display at the Milan Furniture Fair next month. I wasn’t convinced that the program made sense given that Mini has had to lay off factory worker and sales looked uncertain. Now another project from BMW has rolled around, right into Vanderbilt Hall in Manhattan’s Grand Central Station. This exhibit shows off four of the company’s “Art Cars,” a program it’s run since the mid 70s which allowed established fine artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein to have their way with one of the company’s cars. Also on display is the company’s upcoming third evolution of its Z4 roadster, which will be available in May. The car got a starring role in its own marketing campaign (see the YouTube video below) thanks to South African artist Robin Rhode coming over all Jackson Pollock and using it as a way to imprint paint onto a football-pitch sized canvas. The paint splattered car that was used — and a section of the canvas — are also on display here. Also below, a quick interview I grabbed at yesterday’s press event with BMW’s VP of marketing, Jack Pitney, in which I specifically asked him about the thinking behind producing fine art projects and elaborate films in our cash-strapped era.
And here's Jack Pitney, BMW VP Marketing: