Jeff Koons’ BMW “pop” auctioned for almost half a million dollars

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The customized BMW M850i ​​xDrive Gran Coupé signed by Jeff Koons, who has developed a limited series for the German house that fully reflects his style and art, was auctioned for $ 475,000.

The auction was held on 4 April in the main hall of Christie’s: bids came from all over the world, both from the public and virtual, and after an intense “battle” the hammer of Tash Perrin, vice president and auctioneer of auction, has finally dropped in front of Koons himself and other illustrious guests such as Alexander SC Rower, president of the Calder Foundation, the collector Larry Warsh and the artist FUTURA 2000.

The BMW M850i ​​xDrive Gran Coupé is the last of the 99 pieces produced in the limited edition that sold out three weeks after the world premiere, in mid-February. Koons transformed it into a “pop” manifesto for which he was inspired by superheroes: not by chance, since all the proceeds from the sale will go to the International Center for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), of which the artist is has been working personally for twenty years now.

“From the choice of colors to the overall appearance and use of materials, my car has a superhero air – said Koons – Donating the proceeds to the ICMEC and literally saving the lives of children is a superhero feat. now more than ever. I am thrilled that the auction was such a great success. It should encourage and engage as many people as possible, appreciating the great work foundations do globally to make the world a better place. “

Jeff Koons’ “superhero” BMW and his history with the brand
Eleven different colors ranging from blue to silver, yellow to black were used for the bodywork of the M850i ​​xDrive Gran Coupé. The multi-colored interior is made of high-quality materials, fine leather and a cup holder lid with an edition reference badge and the artist’s signature. The seats are painted in red and blue tones that reflect the colors of comic book superheroes, reflecting a design that mixes elements of Pop Art with the sporty soul of the 8 Series Gran Coupé.

The car required 200 hours of work by highly skilled professionals who worked in the Dingolfing and Landshut plants for exterior paint only, where color swatches were often applied with magnifying glasses. Koons himself spent several days at the Dingolfing plant for several months discussing the design options with employees, and went through the whole process down to the smallest detail, even designing the cover for the driving manual.

It is not the first time that Jeff Koons, considered one of the most quoted and appreciated contemporary artists in the world, collaborates with BMW to customize a car. In 2010 the American artist created an exclusive M3 GT2 Art Car which participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and which was presented at the Center Pompidou in Paris. Ten years later, in 2020, BMW and Koons are back to work together on the limited edition of the new 8 Series Gran Coupé, which was announced globally in January 2022.

The Bmw Art Cars, from Calder to Andy Warhol
The 8 Series signed by Koons is just the latest in an “artistic” series that BMW inaugurated way back in 1975. The first BMW Art Car was commissioned when the French racing car driver and art lover, Hervé Poulain, and BMW Motorsport founder Jochen Neerpasch asked Alexander Calder to design Poulain’s racing car.

Since then, 19 artists from around the world have brought their BMW cars to life, from Roy Lichtenstein to Esther Mahlangu via Jenny Holzer, Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Ólafur Elíasson, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg, Cao Fei and John Baldessari. Models inspired by the developments of art, design and technology, mirror of the past, a list in which Koons stands out twice. In 2021, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the BMW Group Cultural Engagement, the Art Cars entered the digital world and have been presented in augmented reality ever since.

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