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Jeff Koons’ BMW Art Car Fails to Finish at Le Mans

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FRENCH TWIST. Koons at the Paris unveiling of his BMW Art Car earlier this month.

The seventeeth BMW Art Car, customized with a rainbow of good vibes by artist Jeff Koons, was expected to be a real contender at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race, but while it may have bested the competition in aesthetic appeal, the BMW M3 GT2 was forced to retire early. The Art Car was involved in a race incident when another car ran off the track to avoid the BMW, which was driving at a slow pace, according to Le Mans. “It’s unfortunate,” said Koons, “but it’s part of racing.”

BMW’s selection of Koons to join the likes of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, and Jenny Holzer in creating an Art Car was announced in February. Koons later offered a preview of his design concept, which he said was influenced by everything from energy and “subliminal design work” to Christmas lights and sweet victory. “To me, it’s really important that the team wins.” he said at an April press conference. “Winning is the most important aesthetic.”


Produced with a team of BMW engineers and designers at Schmid Design in Germany, the car was Koonsified with a digital print on car wrapping vinyl. In addition to the radiating color lines, graphics of debris were added to the rear sides and back of the car, while two graphic rings on the rear represent supersonic acceleration. No word as to whether the car will race another day, but Koons is hopeful. “I would love to give it another chance and have it compete again.”

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