Next BMW Art Car revealed: Julie Mehretu artwork for Le Mans V8 Hybrid racer

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BMW’s latest race car will be clothed in artist-designed livery for fearsome 24 hours of Le Mans 2024

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The 20th edition of BMW’s iconic Art Car has been revealed ahead of its campaign to win the 24 hours of Le Mans.

Created by artist Julie Mehretu and applied to BMW’s M Hybrid V8 race car, it will race in the revamped Le Mans hypercar class on 15/16 June 2024, vying for overall victory.

This is just the latest in a long line of Art Cars that have been commissioned by BMW, collaborating with the world’s most famous artists as a sort of dynamic canvas, bringing the creative and automotive worlds together. These have been applied on both road and race cars over the years, the last being an 8 Series Gran Coupe from pop artist Jeff Koons.   

Julie Mehretu herself is a decorated American contemporary artist of mixed Ethiopian and American heritage who has gained global acclaim for her works.

She’s famous for her layered artworks that incorporate technical drawings and illustrations into large-scale canvas pieces of art. This can be seen in her complex and digitised design, which will contrast against the standard BMW M liveries of its running mates during the race. 

Commenting on the project, Julie Mehretu said: “The whole BMW Art Car project is about invention, about imagination, about pushing limits of what can be possible. I don’t think of this car as something you would exhibit. I am thinking of it as something that will race in Le Mans. It’s a performative painting.”

MORE: Julie Mehretu profiled by MoMA

BMW Art Car by Julie Mehretu

Some of the most iconic artists of all time have been commissioned to create BMW Art Cars, with Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, David Hockney and the aforementioned Jeff Koons all having created designs – an auspicious list of some of the art world’s biggest names. 

This Art Car collaboration also includes a commitment to a series of pan-African translocal media workshops for filmmakers that will tour African cities in 2025 and 2026, culminating in an exhibition at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town. 

Having been revealed at the Pompidou centre in Paris, the Art Car will then head to Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como in Italy, before heading back to be to be prepared for Le Mans, where the car will fight it out with FerrariPorscheToyota and many more for the overall win in mid-June. 

Jordan Katsianis & Auto Daily

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