Bmw Art Cars: Hervé Poulain the French patron of motorsport.
Hervé Poulain, a French driver who has participated ten times in the 24 hours of Le Mans, alternates his predilection for engines with that for art in all its expressive forms. In the 1970s, at the height of his career as a driver, he founded the auction house Artcurial and in 1975, thanks to an ingenious intuition, he consolidated the connection between art and motors by inaugurating the BMW Art Cars project.
The first Art Car bears the signature of Alexander Calder: the American sculptor is commissioned by Poulain to paint a BMW 3.0 CSL, which the French driver himself uses in the 1975 Le Mans 24 Hours. The collaborations with artists of international renown become acclaimed protagonists both on the track and in exhibitions of great success, coming to constitute a collection that counts 19 cars to date; from the fastest and most sophisticated racing models, up to those series approved to circulate on the road, the BMW Art Cars with their bodies tell artistic languages and different eras involving artists such as David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol. However, the credit for having reinterpreted the volume of the car in a completely innovative way goes to Ólafur Elíasson: the Danish artist, in fact, designs a sheet metal shell which, through a refrigeration process, creates an ice shell characterized by a geometric pattern that hides inside the BMW H2R, a futuristic racing prototype powered entirely by hydrogen. For some years now, BMW has also set up a dedicated exhibition area within its museum and has launched an app that, through augmented reality, allows you to view the cars directly from your smartphone.Editor: Flaminia Brigandì