Jeff Koons reveals his ‘Dream Car’ at Contemporary Istanbul. Edition of the BMW M850i Gran Coupé.
Internationally renowned for his colorful paintings as well as his iconic animal balloon sculptures made of stainless steel and drawing attention to popular culture and everyday objects, Jeff Koons, one of today’s most influential contemporary artists, visited Istanbul for the first time as the guest of Borusan Holding and BMW Türkiye. Koons participated in Contemporary Istanbul with his design of the BMW M850i xDrive Gran Coupé which was produced in 99 units worldwide.
Hakan Tiftik, Chief Executive Officer of Borusan Otomotiv, highlighted that Borusan Holding and BMW have always supported art. Tiftik underlined that BMW Türkiye, for which Borusan Otomotiv is the distributor in Turkey, has been a partner of Contemporary Istanbul for many years and the event is among the leading contemporary art events of the country. He continued his words as follows: “Borusan Group, which also includes Borusan Otomotiv, continues to be a supporter of culture and art activities since it was established. In this context, Borusan Group also owns Borusan Contemporary Art Collection which is one of the major contemporary art collections of Türkiye. The company’s current activities on art continues under the umbrella of ‘Borusan Contemporary’ at Perili Köşk building which also serves as the headquarters of Borusan Holding. BMW is also among the most important supporters of these events with its partnerships and sponsorships in many art disciplines in various countries across the globe. As BMW Türkiye, we also support significant partnerships and sponsorship activities in Türkiye. Last year, we supported the world-renowned Turkish media artist Refik Anadol’s personal exhibition ‘Machine Memoirs: Space’ which welcomed the art-lovers in Istanbul at Pilevneli Dolapdere. This year, a multi-disciplinary artist, Can Büyükberber introduced his work Monolit at CI Bloom, which offered a unique audio-visual experience, taking inspiration from the new BMW iX. And today, we are having the pleasure of hosting Jeff Koons in Istanbul with his spectacular BMW M850i design.”
In the press conference at which Hakan Tiftik also participated, Jeff Koons shared his excitement for being in Istanbul and talked about the collaboration with BMW and the design of his BMW M850i xDrive Gran Coupé which he describes as a “Dream Car“. Koons said: “I am proud to see myself as part of the BMW family. In the past, it was a great honor for me to be invited to designing an Art Car for BMW. Seeing my Art Car at the 24 Hour Race at Le Mans was a truly exciting moment. I’m very happy to have found another opportunity to work with BMW. THE 8 X Jeff Koons has been a great project for me. I thought about it deeply. What is the essence of the BMW M850i, and what is the essence of power? I had been in search of the answers to these questions. The power of an automobile is not only represented by its engine or engineering but also by the human being within the car. When designing the BMW M850, I tried to create a sporty and luxury sedan model that represents the power and energy of the automobile. It was a great opportunity for me.“
BMW is enchanted with the work of Jeff Koons: “For over 50 years the company has been celebrating the arts and bold voices of our time through hundreds of cultural initiatives worldwide. Being able to work closely with Jeff Koons once again, making his ‘Dream Car’ come true has been a source of inspiration for everyone working at the BMW headquarters and at the Dingolfing factory in Germany. Throughout the history of the company, no other BMW has been created which required a design as comprehensive as of the THE 8 X JEFF KOONS. Moreover, this edition will not only be exhibited in museums but also as unique BMW car driving on the streets. “
‘Dream Car’ BMW M850i Enchanted both the Art-Lovers and Automobile Enthusiasts
BMW M850i xDrive Gran Coupé design described by Jeff Koons as a ‘Dream Car‘, manufactured in a limited number of 99 world-wide, generated great interest from contemporary art enthusiasts as well as automobile fans. The car was painted by hand in over 200 hours per car by alternating teams consisting of thousands of designers and engineers. Its colors range from blue to silver and from yellow to black.
Ali Güreli and Jeff Koons Came Together at Artist Talk
Ali Güreli, Chairperson of the Board of Contemporary Istanbul, who accompanied Jeff Koons on the fairgrounds, also invited the fair visitors to a public talk with the artist. During the talk whereby the current status of contemporary art in the world and in Türkiye was assessed, they discussed the direction of the art industry leading from the West towards the East, digital architecture, new technologies influencing the art of Koons, art fields of the future and Jeff Koons being inspired by Istanbul.
About Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons was born in 1955 in York, Pennsylvania. He attended Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since his first solo exhibition in 1980, Koons’ work has been displayed in major galleries and institutions around the world, making the artist a world-renowned name.
Koons is best known for his iconic Rabbit and Balloon Dog sculptures, as well as the monumental flower sculpture Puppy (1992), displayed at Rockefeller Center and permanently installed at the Guggenheim, Bilbao.
Jeff Koons has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his cultural achievements. Notably, Koons received the Governor’s Awards for the Arts “Distinguished Arts Award” from the Pennsylvania Council on the Art; President Jacques Chirac promoted Koons to Officier de la Legion d’Honneur; Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton honored Koons with the State Department’s Medal of the Arts for his outstanding commitment to the Art in Embassies Program and international cultural exchange; and Consul General Ragini Gupta presented Koons the U.S. Consulate General’s Award for Cultural Diplomacy in Florence. In 2017, Koons was made the first Artist-in-Residence at Columbia University’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute and, also, made an Honorary Member of University of Oxford’s Edgar Wind Society for Outstanding Contribution for Visual Culture. Koons has been a board member of The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) since 2002 and co-founded the Koons Family International Law and Policy Institute with ICMEC; for the purpose of combating global issues of child abduction and exploitation and to protect the world’s children.
Source: BMW Press Club