If you're familiar with the work of artist Jeff Koons, you know to expect the unexpected. Koons is known for his loud, over-the-top, readymade pieces, and those descriptors could certainly be applied to his latest automotive collaboration, the BMW 8 X Jeff Koons.
Making its debut Wednesday, the 8 X Jeff Koons builds on the recently refreshed teamed up for such a thing before. This is a limited-run production car, of which 99 examples will be made. Want one? That'll be $350,995 including destination, which is more than three times the base price of a new M850i Gran Coupe. Yep.. It's not a one-off art car, either, though BMW and Koons have
BMW gave me an early look at the 8 X Jeff Koons at last year's, where I got to speak to the artist himself. Koons talked about the wild exterior design with its 11 different colors. He touched on various interior details, too, like the contrasting, almost clashing red and blue leather, as well as the brown and metal accents.
"It's what it means to be a peacock and have your feathers spread," Koons told me. "I feel the profoundness of what it means to be human."
Some of the colors used on the exterior are heritage BMW hues, and the whole design is meant to convey motion and excitement. "It's all about movement and the power of moving forward," Koons said. "You're Wonder Woman, you're Superman, you're Spider-Man and what's going through your veins is pure acceleration."
The comic book character references are apt, since the 8 X Jeff Koons has a very pop art theme to its design. That's what the bright red and blue leathers are meant to represent inside, combined with deep browns that bring it all back to reality -- "your fingers in the Earth," Koons said.
Walking around the M850i, Koons said the bright yellow bumper is like "the force of the sun god coming at you," and the blue lines along the side are meant to signify "the vastness of space." Those exploding lines also pay homage to BMW's 2010 M3 GT2 art car that raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans -- a car Koons designed.
Koons didn't say that he wanted to work with the 8 Series specifically, but did note that he chose to use the Gran Coupe body style. "I love being with people," he said. "I like to be with friends." Of all the 8 Series models on offer, the four-door Gran Coupe definitely lends itself to bringing your pals along for the ride.
The BMW 8 X Jeff Koons will make its first public debut in Rockefeller Plaza in New York from April 1 to 4. One of the 99 Gran Coupes will be auctioned for charity, with all proceeds going to The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. The 8 X Jeff Koons will also make appearances at this year's Istanbul Contemporary, Paris Photo, the Goodwood Festival of Speed, West Bund Art and Design Fair in Shanghai and Art Basel in Hong Kong. If you're at any of those, trust me, you won't be able to miss it.