Light Speed

Art world impresario and dauphin of Pop, Jeff Koons is switching into high gear, unveiling preliminary designs for BMW’s latest Art Car. Since 1975, the automaker has enlisted arty heavyweights to give the deluxe treatment to limited-edition race cars. These have included high-octane designs from the likes of Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol, as well as, more recently, a frozen popsicle car courtesy of Olafur Eliasson.

No stranger to the slick, hard and glossy, Koons has come up with a compact speed racer tricked out in a kaleidoscopic array of colors apparently by inspired by the refraction of Christmas lights. (We hesitate to imagine the scale of Koons’ yuletide decorations.) Perhaps most surprisingly, with state of the art paint coverage and a lightweight frame, the design is actually meant for the track, not a museum—unlike Eliasson’s melty version, which required a garage-sized freezer. Koons’ prototype will debut June 1 at the Centre Pompidou, but the true test will come when it’s shipped to Le Mans, France, to be entered as car #79 in the city’s legendary 24-hour endurance race. Our money’s on Koons.  

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