Limited pop art-themed BMW 8 Series debuts at Frieze LA

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Some see cars as just tools to take them from point A to point B, while others see them as works of art. On that note, BMW teamed up with American artist Jeff Koons for a limited-edition pop art-themed BMW 8 Series, which debuts at the ongoing Frieze Los Aangeles art fair.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Who designed the pop art-themed BMW 8 Series?

    It was designed by artist Jeff Koons.
  • How many units of The 8 X Jeff Koons will be produced?

    It will have a limited production run of 99 units.
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    The German luxury car brand calls it “the most elaborately designed vehicle in all of BMW's history,” and is dubbed The 8 X Jeff Koons.

    “My edition of the BMW 8 Series is my dream car! It is very special to me and I’ve wanted to create a special-edition BMW for a long time. It is sporty and flashy as well as 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. On the car, the lines are getting bigger on their journey from the hood towards the trunk, creating a sense of forward movement just as the ‘POP!’ and the vapor thrust design elements do. The blue color resembles the vastness of space and I like the idea of the car being a global car. 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,” said Koons.

    The 8 X Jeff Koons features an expressive and striking design that combines 11 different exterior colors ranging from blue to silver as well as from yellow to black representing the pop art style popularized by artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Coincidentally, both Warhol and Lichtenstein had previously painted BMW cars with the former having worked on a BMW M1 and the latter a BMW 320i.

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    The exterior alone, says BMW, required over 200 hours of manual work from highly specialized professionals at the BMW Group plants in Dingolfing and Landshut where the color samples were often applied with magnifying glasses. BMW added that Koons himself spent many days on-site at the Dingolfing plant over a period of numerous months discussing design options with the BMW employees involved.

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    Inside, The 8 X Jeff Koons come with a multi-colored interior with high-end materials, fine leather, and a cupholder lid with an edition badging and the artist’s signature.

    “BMW thrives on constantly seeking out new challenges! Working with Jeff Koons again has inspired us all — throughout headquarters and across our plants in Germany. 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. A 'rolling sculpture' that will 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,” said BMW AG Chairman of the Board of Management Oliver Zipse.

    The 8 X Jeff Koons will have a limited production of only 99 units. Each car comes with a large-format certificate signed by Jeff Koons, which in addition to Oliver Zipse's signature also contains the individual Vehicle Identification Number of the respective vehicle.

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    Following its world premiere at Frieze LA, The 8 X Jeff Koons will be presented at numerous art fairs and events in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, including the 16th Istanbul Contemporary, Paris Photo, the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Art Dubai, West Bund Art & Design Fair Shanghai, and Art Basel Hong Kong.

    One The 8 X Jeff Koons edition will be signed by the artist on the tailgate and will go under the hammer at Christie's in New York on April 4. Proceeds of the auction will go to the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC).

    Photos from BMW Group

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