The Next Round of BMW Art Cars

BMW drives John Baldessari and Cao Fei to new artistic heights…

American conceptual artist John Baldessari and Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei will design the next BMW Art Cars, joining the ranks of Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and other renowned artists who have painted iconic BMW models over the past four decades.

Baldessari (84 years old) and Fei (37 years old) will become the oldest and youngest artist, respectively, to create designs for BMW. Fei, perhaps best known for her online project RMB City (a virtual world designed for the alternate-reality game Second Life), will produce the 18th BMW in the Art Car series. Baldessari, a BMW owner, is known for his wry works of photos and text, and has garnered attention for placing brightly colored dots over his subjects’ faces. This will be the first time the Southern California artist has worked with a three-dimensional object.

Each artist will work independently on a BMW M6 GT3—the racecar that replaces the Z4 in BMW factory racing next year. Both were chosen by a panel of 12 judges consisting of directors and curators from some of the world’s most prestigious contemporary-art museums, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art, both in New York. This is also the first time BMW has announced two cars simultaneously in the program’s 40-year history, which has spawned 17 works thus far. The last car was unveiled in 2010, which bore a bright, multicolored design by Jeff Koons on a BMW E92 M3. Both of the new Art Car designs will be finalized in the coming year, and the finished works are slated to compete on the track for the 2017 racing season. (

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