Artists in the Rearview Mirror May Be Closer Than They Appear!

Story By
Kyle Gregorio

Some may think a car is just a mode of transportation to get you from point A to point B but to others, it's much more than that. In business, you always want luxury and speed and perhaps imagine driving a piece of art.

Your car is an extension of yourself and whether you like it or not, it affects how others perceive you. Today, the “big three” traditional executive car makers - BMW, Audi and Mercedes - are the ones that are most sought after by businessmen, they are even synonymous with the concept. Not only are these cars sleek and luxurious, they are also stylish and beautiful to look at that. They have literally been turned into works of art that can be found in museums, galleries and fashion events all over the world. They represent the best of both the business and art worlds!

► Sculpted in Steel

At the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Art Deco vehicles which form the exhibition prove exactly that this is possible - beautifully constructed, they are as much works of art as modes of transport.

Characterized by the use of luxurious materials and clean lines, the Art Deco aesthetic lead the worlds of architecture, fashion and cars on a global scale between the first and second world wars.

Car bodies were blessed with shiny metal curves, while finer details such as grills, hood ornaments and windows were inspired by airplanes, and constructed using industrial materials.

► BMW Art Cars

BMW automobiles, old or new, are veritable automotive works of art replete with iconic designs. The sporty 2-door and 4-door profiles, the twin-kidney grilles, the quad headlamps, the unmistakable taillight clusters few cars have as many signature styling cues as a BMW.

But what if you transform these rolling works of art into blank canvases and let the fertile imaginations of some of the world’s best and most famous artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein work their magic on sheet metal?

The BMW Art Car collection is an artistic depiction of the times, and has come to represent the design and cultural trends of several eras, from the groovy 70’s to the 80’s new wave and the 90’s grunge. In all, fifteen noted artists representing nine countries from each continent have transformed BMW automobiles into BMW Art Cars integrating contemporary culture with artistic expression and technological innovations.

At present, the BMW Group seeks to share the BMW Art Car collection through exhibits worldwide. Aside from being regularly showcased in museums such as the Louvre in Paris, the Royal Academy in London, the New York Whitney Museum of Modern Art, Venice’s Palazzo Grassi, and the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, selected BMW Art Cars are now on a touring exhibition for thousands of art and automotive aficionados worldwide.

► Cars and Fashion

For its first ever runway show, held on a massive pier off New York’s West Side Highway, Opening Ceremony, a fashion brand and retailer, rolled out a procession of Bentleys, Ferraris, and other gleaming beauties. As Justin Bieber and Rihanna Instagrammed from the front row, a gaggle of models swung their legs out of the vehicles and struck poses. Had some music-video director dreamed this up? Or a luxury-car dealer? Either way, it played out as a perfectly choreographed traffic jam of celebrity, fashion, and car culture.

And the duo behind Opening Ceremony aren’t the only fashion-world auto-philes. Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci parked a smoking pile of steel and glass in the middle of his runway in Paris.

Artists have long been seduced by cars, and that love affair has only accelerated of late. For his survey, at the New Museum in New York, Chris Burden restored a 1974 Porsche. Suspended in balance opposite a fallen meteorite, the exquisite object made by Germans four decades back seems as awe-inspiring as the one produced by the cosmos light years ago.