Jeff Koons has designed another art car for BMW. This time it's not a race car, but an M850i xDrive Gran Coupé for the road. You can buy 99 pieces of it. At a proud price. It could prove to be a great investment for future owners.
A look at the configurator makes it clear that a BMW 8 Series is not cheap: An M850i xDrive Gran Coupé now costs after the facelift at least 126,000 euros. For the specimens redesigned according to Jeff Koons ideas, interested parties have to pay another 224,000 euros. Crazy? Maybe a crazy good offer: In May 2019, the 1.04 meter high steel sculpture "Rabbit" by Jeff Koons was auctioned at Christie's for 91 million US dollars (today around 80 million euros). It is considered the most expensive work by a living artist. After all, the 8-series Gran Coupé is 1.407 meters high and, above all, with a length of 5.08 meters it is a huge car whose expansive body first needs to be painted or rather varnished. ,
285 hours of additional work
BMW describes the artist 8 Series as the most elaborately designed vehicle in the company's history: the painting of the work of art alone devours more than 200 hours of work, together with the special design of the interior, even 285 hours of work are said to go by, until the originally silver Gran Coupé becomes an edition THE 8 X JEFF KOONS - with seats in rich red and blue tones. In keeping with the pop art artist, the Superman colors refer to the comic universe – coincidentally, they can also be found in the corporate identity of BMW M. The artist even designed the dust jacket for the operating instructions. There is a colored signature of the artist on the cupholder panel. Jeff Koons chose the Bavarian blue from the BMW logo. ,
Anyone who now thinks that BMW would use its new painting process "Eco Paint Jet Pro" for the body design, which allows you to draw with a width between one and 50 millimeters with sharp separation or to paint the entire surface, is wrong. The new coating head can only process a few colors from Munich; Jeff Koons uses eleven paints from the manufacturer, from blue to silver and yellow to black. ,
Someone also wants to drive his artist 8
And specialized specialists apply them by hand with huge templates and often with magnifying glasses. Only two bodies can be painted per week in the Landshut and Dingolfing plants. Seen in this way, buyers also acquire a real work of art, the amount of work involved puts the hefty surcharge into perspective. If the price development is only roughly based on other objects by Jeff Koons, the Art Car could become a worthwhile speculation object - the 80 million euros for the Rabbit sculpture through the 99 copies of the Jeff Koons 8er - that would result in a good 808.000 euros as the target price for one of the four-door models, which is signed by the artist on the center console. According to one of the future owners, he definitely wants to use the good piece: "I can't wait to drive around in my 8 Series Gran Coupé and I hope that everyone else will enjoy it as much as I do," says Jeff Koons himself who has demanded a copy. ,
The artist about his object: "My edition of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé is my absolute dream car! I've always wanted to design a very special BMW and the project means a lot to me. The edition is sporty and catches the eye, at the same time it is but also minimalist and conceptual.Along the surface of the vehicle, the lines widen from the bonnet to the trunk, giving a sense of forward movement, as do the 'POP!' and the swirls of wind, while the blue color evokes the vastness of space and I like the idea that the vehicle is legal for the whole world. After all, what matters is how connected we all are to each other and our awareness of everything that surrounds us. It creates a special feeling for the driver and all passengers of joy. That's what my vehicle has to offer."
The first example will be auctioned off for a good cause
The THE 8 X JEFF KOONS is to be seen by the general public in Manhattan on Rockefeller Plaza before a vehicle from the edition will be auctioned internationally at Christie's in New York on April 4th becomes. All proceeds from the highest bid go to the International Center for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), which has been personally associated with Jeff Koons for over two decades. ,
After its world premiere, BMW wants to present the Art 8 Series at art fairs and events in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, including the 16th Istanbul Contemporary, Paris Photo, Goodwood Festival of Speed, Art Dubai, West Bund Art & Design Fair Shanghai and Art Basel Hong Kong.
BMW Art Cars by 19 artists so far
BMW Art Cars have been around since the 70s. Probably on the initiative of the French racing driver (and art lover) Hervé Poulain, the artist Alexander Calder was asked to design Poulain's BMW racing car in 1975, together with the then BMW Motorsport Director Jochen Neerpasch. Since then, a total of 19 artists from all over the world have designed BMWs - including Roy Lichtenstein, Esther Mahlangu, Jenny Holzer, Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Ólafur Elíasson, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg, Cao Fei and John Baldessari. ,
With the BMW M3 GT2, Jeff Koons designed the 17th BMW Art Car in 2010. It competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans after being unveiled at Paris' Center Pompidou.BMW and Koons then remained in contact and, according to the manufacturer, decided on a limited edition of the new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé at the beginning of 2020. ,
BMW's 8 Series serves a small target group, especially as a two-door model. According to rumors, the series will not have a direct successor. Rather, a new medium-sized 6-seater coupé should replace the 8-seater as well as the 4-seater . The only survivor could be the Gran Coupé, which will then probably be added to the 7 Series. The first 8s of the 90s were similar. The goal of positioning it higher as a luxury coupé may have been successful then as it is now, but the number of units apparently fell short of expectations in both cases when measured against the effort involved.
So it's fitting that Jeff Koons created his very own form of higher positioning with the 8 Series Gran Coupé of all things. Measured against the effort, the number of pieces remains small, but that is intentional in this case and could make the most expensive 8 series a good offer.