May 17, 2010

Cars and Art

While surfing the web recently, it came to my attention that beginning in the 1970s BMW automobiles had the wonderful idea of custom painting various models. They contracted a group of extremely well known contemporary artists to transform the entire body into a work of art. BMW hired the likes of Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Roy Roy Lichtenstein, Ernst Fuchs, and Robert Raushenberg among others. Each artist was tasked to come up with a design that took advantage of his very recognizable signature style, and eventually BMW created their own race series featuring the fabulous M1s, all bodied uniquely.









This got me to thinking about a project we did a few years ago with my artist Rudy Gutierrez. The project was to paint nineteen scavenged VW vans circa 1958 – 1971. Each van was then restored and painted with themes that embodied both surf culture and Mexican flavor. Why, you may ask would an advertising agency go to such trouble? Well their client was a Mexican beer brand named Pacifico, and they hoped that if they had these vans driven and parked strategically at known surfing locations all over the Pacific seaboard, they would have very high visibility. Eventually they moved the vans to various cities all around the United States. It was the equivalent of a moving billboard, but fresher, hipper, and much more unique.





Rudy enjoyed the challenge of designing a three dimensional object. His style is known for it’s flowing nature, which lends itself to working in three dimensions. At the time there was a lot of buzz created with this campaign. It was cost effective for the advertiser and a wonderful showcase for the artist. A key reason for me to create Art on a Grand Scale was to bring art to a large audience in and on large spaces.





I think that painting walls ie: graffiti art and as far back as cave art shows that there’s nothing new in this world, but we need to reinvent ourselves constantly.

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