Jeff Koons is creating a limited-edition collectable car collection for BMW. The American artist is using the M850i Gran Coupé as his canvas, with the ‘8X Jeff Koons’ cars to be revealed at Frieze Los Angeles in February 2022 and thereafter sold as collector’s editions. See the full story here.
As head of BMW’s cultural engagement, Thomas Girst is deeply passionate about arts and ideas. He involves the company in some really interesting projects which not only help these artists and institutions – many of whom rely entirely on corporate sponsorship – but the partnerships also subtly boost BMW’s brand image externally and internally.
Of course, there’s always been a mutually seductive rapport between art and money – and BMW isn’t alone even among car companies to tap into the art world. Yet, not all sponsorships and patronages feel genuine. Some are so off the rail you do wonder who signed the cheque. Girst’s work, though, is different. His choices are relevant to the brand and are topical. They can also be daring – be it exploring the virtual real, the seducing powers of technology, or the plight of the refugee. The latest partnership looks at the climate crisis with Leelee Chan, the winner of the BMW Art Journey with Art Basel, examining how ancient materials and their future substitutes from the fields of nanotechnology and biotechnology inform our debate around ecological and cultural sustainability.
I spoke with Girst following the Art Journey announcement to see where he feels the art world is heading. And he spoke passionately about the vital need for corporations to sponsor and support the arts in the post-pandemic world. He also offered some valuable tips as to how businesses can best get involved with the creative world. Take a closer look here
BMW Art Car #18 by Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei takes the iconic series into the 21st century by going digital – through both virtual and augmented reality, inviting the viewer to participate and transform the M6 GT3 racecar into a living sculpture before racing at Macau in November.
I go behind the scenes to meet the artist and see how her BMW Art Car reflects the next life of the automobile. Read the full story here.
Art and money have always had a mutually seductive rapport. Artists need the patronage of industry, industry benefits greatly from the positive kudos this union can bring. The truth is big art projects are costly and unless governments fully fund cultural activities, galleries and museums will need to engaged with corporate capital.
The outcome can be intriguing if the relationship is balanced, and crucially if the sponsor allows the artist and creative to do their thing, which can be tricky when you’re dealing with big corporations such as car companies.
I met with Thomas Girst, BMW’s cultural manager since 2004. He is charge of the marque numerous artistic ventures including Tate Modern Live, the Art Journey initiative with Art Basel and the classic Art Car project, which for 2017 explores two very different concepts – minimalism and virtual and augmented reality with two equally different artists, the celebrated Californian John Baldessari and Chinese digital artist Cao Fei.