first glimpse of the 8x jeff koons
BMW collaborates with artist jeff koons once again to design a special edition of the BMW 8 series gran coupe. this most recent collaboration comes 11 years after the american artist first created a unique BMW M3 GT2 art car, which raced at the 24 hours of le mans. koons’ ‘expressive and striking’ design will premier at frieze los angeles in february 2022. for now, BMW has released some tantalizing snapshots of the car, which reveal colorful details and koons’ recognizable pop art touch.
‘I am really thrilled and honored about the opportunity to work with BMW again and to create a special edition car,’ says koons. ‘I was thinking very intensely about it: what is the essence of the 8 series gran coupe? what is the essence of power? how to create something that exemplifies all the energy of the BMW 8 series that is also able to touch upon the human element? again, it’s just a wonderful opportunity to be working as part of the BMW family again.’
JEFF KOONS X BMW: the artist’s special edition of the BMW 8 series gran coupe
images by enes kucevic, © jeff koons and BMW AG
a multicolored car with pop art elements
intriguingly, the collaboration seems to have been ideated by bono, the lead singer of irish rock band U2. in 2010, the same year koons created his BMW art car, bono wrote in the new york times that koons should be involved in designing the car of the future.
so what can we expect from THE 8X JEFF KOONS? firstly, there’s a lot of color. the exterior finish combines 11 different hues into a multilayered paint that takes 285 hours to apply to each car. the striking shades range from blue to silver as well as from yellow to black. koons has also integrated pop art elements and geometric patterns, which pay tribute to the sporty 8 series gran coupe. the finely crafted interiors are multicolored too, with red and blue leather seats and red stitched details. there’s also a cupholder lid with an edition badging and the koon’s engraved signature on the side of the car.
the design combines 11 different exterior colors
the cars are currently being made in secret at the BMW group plant dingolfing in bavaria, germany. after its world premiere in 2022, the luxurious 8 series gran coupe will be for sale in a very limited collector’s edition.
during an exclusive unveiling of THE 8X JEFF KOONS at the pinakothek der moderne — munich’s major museum of contemporary art — koons’ BMW art car will also be on display alongside those by alexander calder, andy warhol, roy lichtenstein, robert rauschenberg, john baldessari and esther mahlangu. the exhibition celebrates 50 years of BMW’s worldwide commitment to the arts.
the multilayered paint takes 285 hours to apply onto each car
‘I am very proud to announce a new partnership with jeff koons. and let me say: I love what he has come up with! the 8 series gran coupe is very close to our hearts and jeff’s design of the car is full of joy and passion,’ says oliver zipse, chairman of the board of management, BMW AG. ‘ever since we re-launched our collaboration, jeff has said that he’s proud to be back with the BMW family. dozens of engineers and designers have given their all to celebrate our partnership and make his vision come true. welcome home, jeff koons!’
the special edition 8 series gran coupe features elements of pop art
‘in 2021, we celebrate 50 years of cultural engagement worldwide. we just love the arts and the bold voices of our time. our passion is emotion and to be able to work closely with jeff koons again has been an extraordinary source of inspiration. what better artist to collaborate with on the 8 series gran coupe? car design takes inspiration from art and engineering and turns that into highly emotional experiences. working with jeff koons again to jointly create something truly special is a great pleasure. he is one of the greatest artists of our time and one of the most inspiring and engaging human beings to work with,’ says adrian van hooydonk, head of BMW group design.
the car interior is finely crafted and multicolored