Automaker shows famed Art Car in Canada for the first time
BMW showed off perhaps its most famous Art Car in Toronto last night: Pop artist Andy Warhol's 1979 M1 racing car.
The first time the car's been on Canadian soil, it was uncloaked at the tony preview night for Art Toronto 2011 in front of an affluent crowd and well, us. (We're talking $200 tickets and rumour the average person would spend $25,000 on art that evening. We liked the free crab cakes…) The 12th installment of the four-day fair includes 109 art exhibits from galleries from 13 countries.
Warhol was one of 17 artists who have been commissioned by BMW to paint one of its cars over the last 36 years. The American travelled to Munich to paint the car, completing the task in just 28 minutes. We're not art critics, but found out last night that the M1's worth seeing in person for little details like swipes from Warhol's finger or brush handle and unintentional paint drips.
On-hand to unveil the car, Eric Shiner, director of The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania said, "Warhol never had a drivers' license and never drove, but cars were an intrinsic part of his art." Apparently, he started painted truck at the age of 18 to get into art school and did commercial drawing for Cadillac, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz.
Kevin Marcotte, BMW Canada's director of marketing, said the car itself is the racing version of BMW's famed M1 supercar. Only 56 were built for the track with 850 horsepower turbocharged engines. After Warhol painted this car, it ran in the 24 Hours of LeMans, covering some 4,000 kilometres and averaging 160 km/h.
The Warhol car will be on display until October 31 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Entry's $16.00.
When not on the road, the car is on display at the BMW Welt museum in Munich, Germany with the 16 other Art Cars.