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BMW – M Hybrid V8 – Julie Mehretu (2024)


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“The whole project is about invention, imagination and pushing the limits of what is possible.” 

Almost 50 years after the first BMW Art Car, now is the time: number 20 was presented only a few days ago. The BMW M Hybrid V8 is designed by American artist Julie Mehretu. The abstract painter, born 1970 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, combines her artistic work with a personal enthusiasm for automotive design and speed. She translates dynamism into form and applies one of her monumental motifs from a two-dimensional picture plane onto a three-dimensional industrially designed object. In the course of her creative process, the BMW M Hybrid V8 racing car prototype becomes the canvas of Mehretu’s multi-layered art and the next addition to the legendary BMW Art Car Collection.  

Naturally, and true to tradition, before it goes on show in exhibitions around the globe, the sports car will roll across the starting line at a top-class racing event. Namely, the biggest and most famous of them all: the 24 Hours of Le Mans. BMW M GmbH is providing the latest member of the BMW Art Car Collection. Designed specifically for endurance racing, this racing car is powered by a hybrid drive system producing around 640 hp and consisting of a 4.0-liter V8 engine and an electric motor. This marks the return of BMW M Motorsport to the FIA World Endurance Championship in the 2024 season. And while we’re talking about fusion: the multiple award-winning artist Mehretu is also no stranger to connecting things. Namely, an unconventional style of painting and drawing that confronts viewers with a visual articulation of contemporary experience, social behavior, and the psychogeography of space.  

On top of an Art Car World Tour in 2025, the artist is also developing “The Translocal Media Workshop Series 2025” together with BMW, a series of support projects for young culture professionals in various countries on the African continent. The results of the workshops will then be presented together with the BMW M Hybrid V8 “rolling sculpture” at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town. 

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