Julie Mehretu, presented by BMW

New Talk Art special episode!!!! We meet ICONIC artist Julie Mehretu, presented by BMW. #AD

What does Julie Mehretu think about when creating BMW Art Car 20? Find out on this week’s @TalkArt episode!

@RussellTovey and @RobertDiament interview @JulieMehretu during the process for planning and creating #BMWArtCar20. To design #artcar20, Mehretu translates her signature multi-layered motifs onto the contours of the #BMWMHybridV8. Obscured photographs, dotted grids, neon-coloured spray paint and her iconic gestural markings create abstract visual forms across the body of the car.


Mehretu’s collaboration with BMW goes beyond the Art Car. Julie Mehretu and Mehret Mandefro (@drmehret), Emmy-nominated producer, writer and co-founder of the Realness Institute which aims to strengthen the media ecosystem across Africa, will host a series of gatherings across Africa in 2025 to create space for artists to meet, exchange, and collaborate in translocal ways.


Follow @JulieMehretu and @BMWGroupCulture to stay in the loop for more sneak peeks of the next addition to this legendary car collection.

Ideas of time, space and place are enmeshed in the work of Julie Mehretu. Drawing is fundamental to her practice, whether in works on paper, painting or printmaking. The artist’s dextrous mark-making comes together in a characteristic swirl, an act of assertion in response to social and political change. ‘As I continue drawing,’ she says, ‘I find myself more and more interested in the idea that drawing can be an activist gesture. That drawing – as an informed, intuitive process, a process that is representative of individual agency and culture, a very personal process – offers something radical.’

The countdown for the unveiling of the 20th BMW Art Car is underway. On 21st May, the BMW M Hybrid V8, designed by artist Julie Mehretu and set to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 15th/16th June, will be presented at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France. The artist is already providing glimpses into her work. Additionally, it is now confirmed that the Art Car will carry the starting number 20 and will be driven by Sheldon van der Linde (RSA), Robin Frijns (NED), and René Rast (GER).


The #20 BMW M Hybrid V8 will be the first Art Car since the 2017 season, where the BMW M6 GTLM designed by John Baldessari raced at the 24 Hours of Daytona (USA), followed by the virtual BMW M6 GT3 Art Car by Cao Fei at the FIA GT World Cup in Macau (CHN). In the past, the most famous BMW Art Cars have participated in Le Mans: in 1975, Alexander Calder’s BMW 3.0 CSL, in 1976, Frank Stella’s BMW 3.0 CSL, in 1977, Roy Lichtenstein’s BMW 320i Turbo, in 1979, Andy Warhol’s BMW M1, in 1999, Jenny Holzer’s BMW V12 LMR, and in 2010, Jeff Koons’ BMW M3 GT2. This illustrious collection is now enriched by Julie Mehretu’s BMW M Hybrid V8.

For the design of the 20th BMW Art Car, Mehretu uses the colour and form vocabulary of an existing large-format painting from a more recent series of works: obscured photographs, dotted grids, neon-coloured spray paint and Mehretu’s iconic gestural markings give her design an abstract visual form. She transfers the resulting image motif as a high-resolution photograph onto the vehicle’s contours using a 3D mapping technique. This creates the unique artistic foiling with which the BMW M Hybrid V8 will compete in the Le Mans race.

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