The Art of Driving: The David Hockney Art Car at the Paris Photo Show 2014

HOCKNEY BMW at Paris Photo LA show


The David Hockney “original” art car is a hand-painted BMW 850 CSi V-12:  California Dreamin'  

Every year, I look forward to seeing this unique piece of BMW memorabilia at the Paris Photo show.  This year the California theme was expressed by David Hockney’s car that was evocative of his long relationship with California imagery.  He painted  the car in 1995. The model, a BMW CSi V-12 Engine is a collector’s item and no longer part of the BMW line-up. The car has it all:  blue skies,  greenery,  the roadside, and even one of his pets make up the design.  Hockney's signature spontaneous brushstrokes cover the surface of the car in happy abandon.  They express his vision of the 'California Dream', that he has explored for most of his career but now we see Hockney in 3-D on the surface of an object, that can "move" and "drive" adding storyline to the exhibit and speed to his iconic imagery. 

BMW has 17 cars in its collection that have been uniquely “curated” and “customized” by some of the world’s greatest artists. It was a stroke of genius by BMW to take their stable of vehicles and approach them as what they are: works of engineering art. At the same time, they are blank canvases for personal expression as well as collectively a part of our car culture in California.  A surprise to the audiences who walk through the photo exhibits at Paramount Studios, the BMW car display is one of the highlights of the show each year. Perhaps some would say that the artist is selling out by "painting" on a commercial item; but I am not that cynical.  I enjoy seeing an artist's brushwork and signature vision on a three dimensional object that becomes something more then it was before,  just by the act of painting it. 

For more information on the show:   (2014)

Pikke Allen

Pikke Allen is a Writer and Principal Consultant for her own Content & Branding Atelier. Her passion for all things French is a tribute to her dad, a French teacher and devoted Francophile. She grew up on the left bank in Paris during one of the most fruitful periods in art, fashion and culture in the 1970s. Pikke has been published on a variety of travel platforms including 'Girls Guide to Paris'...(Read More)

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