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BMW, Koons, Warhol


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3. January 2014

This is artist Jeff Koons and one of his works. Koons looks happy. He probably looked happier in November 2013, when another of his artworks, “Balloon Dog (Orange)” sold at Christies International in New York for $58.4-million, a record for a living artist.

MIAMI BEACH, FL - DECEMBER 04:  Artist Jeff Koons unveils the North American premiere of his BMW Art Car (BMW M3 GT2) in the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens as part of Art Basel on December 4, 2013 in Miami Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Donald Bowers/Getty Images for BMW)

The work that is behind Koons is not the sculpture of a pneumatic canine. Rather it is a BMW M3 GT2.

It is one of a series—the 17th—of BMW Art Cars. Koons didn’t design the paint for all of the cars. Other artists—David Hockney and Frank Stella, among them—have participated in this art/auto undertaking, as well.

Although Koons executed the car in 2010, it is made its North American debut last month at Art Basel in Miami Beach.

With his Art Car Koons pays tribute to artist Andy Warhol, who painted a BMW M1 that raced at Le Mans in 1979. Thus the “79” on the Koons car.

Interestingly enough, the same week that “Balloon Dog (Orange)” set a sales record, a work by Warhol was sold at auction by Sotheby’s for $105-million, besting the previous record price for Warhol work, $71.7-million. That previous record holder is “Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I).”

The new record holder is "Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster).”

Who knew that contemporary artists—both dead and alive—are so auto-oriented, even though Warhol’s cars were wrecks?

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