The BMW 8 x Jeff KoonsFeb 22nd, 2022
It doesn’t get more exclusive than this: world-renowned artist Jeff Koons has designed his very own BMW M850i xDrive Gran Coupé. The result is a work of art on wheels limited to exactly 99 cars.
Expectations run high whenever US artist Jeff Koons presents a new work. Not for the first time, this is a BMW (➜ Read more: All BMW Art Cars). However, what makes this “rolling sculpture” a first is that it will not remain a one-off. Because 99 cars – no more, no less – will find their way onto the roads. Wait. Roads? Exactly. Because this is the goal, as BMW CEO Oliver Zipse explains. THE 8 X JEFF KOONS edition from BMW is intended “not only be displayed as a coveted collector’s item in museums but will also be allowed to flourish on the road as a genuine BMW.”
Koons has really gone for it in designing the special BMW 8 Series. And he spared no effort in the process. The design combines an amazing eleven colors from blue to silver and yellow to black. The blue reminds him of the vastness of space, Koons explains. The interior continues in an exclusive vein: high-quality materials and the finest leather are inspiring. The seats are in striking shades of red and blue, the colors of superheroes from the comic book universe – and those of BMW M.
The design incorporates elements from Pop Art as well as geometric patterns that blend perfectly with the lines and contours of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé. The exploding lines of color at the rear are reminiscent of Koons’ BMW Art Car from 2010. Koons designed the 17th BMW Art Car, the BMW M3 GT2, which competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. According to Koons, the words “POP!” painted on both sides and the swirls of wind symbolize the power and speed of THE 8 X JEFF KOONS.
Koons himself says that he always wanted to design a very special BMW. His edition is eye-catching, but at the same time minimalist and conceptual. “I can’t wait to drive it and ride in it, and I hope that people will enjoy the Gran Coupé just as much as I do,” says the artist, expressing his vision. And Koons takes his ideas (➜ Read more: The meaning of it all) further: “What matters is how we relate to each other and our awareness of everything we are surrounded by. For the driver and all passengers, there is a heightened state of pleasure. This is what my car has to offer.”
This joy is mutual, as Oliver Zipse reveals. Working with Koons again inspired everyone, said the BMW CEO: at BMW headquarters, at the Munich Research and Innovation Center, as well as at the Dingolfing and Landshut plants. He goes on to add: “Never before in the history of our company has a BMW been created with such an extensive design effort as THE 8 X JEFF KOONS.”
The exterior paint job alone absorbed over 200 hours of painstaking manual labor, where the color samples were often applied under the scrutiny of magnifying glasses. “Dozens of engineers and designers have given their all to celebrate our partnership and make his vision come true,” said Zipse. The artist himself spent many days on site at the Dingolfing plant over a period of months to discuss design options with all the BMW employees involved.
Each of THE 8 X JEFF KOONS is accompanied by a certificate signed by Koons himself. It also includes Zipse’s signature and the vehicle’s individual Vehicle Identification Number. And Koons went into even more detail: The artist actually designed the dust jacket of the Driver’s Manual.
THE 8 X JEFF KOONS is being presented for the general public in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Plaza before one of the vehicles from the edition, signed by the artist, is auctioned to an international audience at Christie’s in New York on April 4th. All proceeds will go to the International Center for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC). Koons has had a personal association with the NGO for over two decades.
Afterwards, THE 8 X JEFF KOONS will go on a grand tour: It will be exhibited at art fairs and events around the world, including the 16th Istanbul Contemporary, the Paris Photo, the Goodwood Festival of Speed (➜ Read also: Bucket list for petrolheads), Art Dubai, West Bund Art & Design Fair Shanghai and Art Basel Hong Kong.