Ethiopian American Artist Chosen to Design BMW Art Car


Renowned artist Julie Mehretu has been selected to create BMW’s next Art Car, which will be showcased at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 2024. Mehretu, known for her abstract paintings, joins a prestigious roster of artists who have previously transformed BMW cars into works of art. The BMW Art Cars project, spanning five decades, has featured iconic names such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, and Jenny Holzer.

Ever since the first BMW Art Car was painted in 1975, the BMW Art Cars initiative has captured the imagination of art enthusiasts and automotive aficionados alike. Artists have been given the opportunity to use BMW vehicles as their canvas, resulting in unique and visually stunning creations. Mehretu’s selection marks a significant milestone as she becomes the first Ethiopian American artist to contribute to this esteemed collection.

Mehretu’s Vision

Julie Mehretu’s distinctive artistic style, characterized by intricate lines and shapes inspired by urban landscapes, promises to bring a fresh perspective to the Art Car series. Her large-scale works, often vibrant and dynamic, evoke a sense of movement and emotion. Drawing inspiration from architecture and societal themes, Mehretu’s art explores the complexities of contemporary existence.

Mehretu’s selection as the artist for the BMW Art Car was met with unanimous acclaim from a jury comprising influential figures in the art world. Madeleine Grynsztejn, Pritzker Director at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, described Mehretu as the “perfect artist” for the project. Mehretu recently had the opportunity to witness the 24 Hours of Daytona race. Immersed in an exciting racing atmosphere, Mehretu expressed her exhilaration.

The Canvas: BMW M Hybrid V8

Mehretu’s artwork will adorn the BMW M Hybrid V8, a track-only racing car specifically designed for international endurance racing. The highly anticipated unveiling of Julie Mehretu’s Art Car will take place at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 2024. The race, known for its rich history and fierce competition, provides an exceptional platform for showcasing the fusion of art and automotive engineering. The BMW Art Car will undoubtedly capture the attention of motorsports enthusiasts and art lovers alike, adding another vibrant chapter to the legacy of this iconic project.

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