Many a designer has added their personal touch to a car over the years. Just think of the iconic Paul Smith Mini, which has become a feature of his marketing and collections. But the most famous designs belong to BMW, with its Art Car project that began in 1975. In 1991, South African artist Esther Mahlangu created the 12th Art Car featuring an iconic Ndebele design on a 525i — people still swoon over it today. However, many regard the BMW M1, featuring the design of pop-art king Andy Warhol (created in 1979), as the most famous of all.
This is why it was recently selected for a special collection by German photographer Stephan Butler. The shoot took place in a disused warehouse in Cologne, Germany, where Butler created the perfect ambience to showcase the famous design created by Warhol 40 years ago. Because he was working on a race car that actually competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Warhol said he wanted to create a design that looked as good standing still as it did at speed.
“I attempted to show speed as a visual image,” said Warhol at the time. “When an automobile is really travelling fast, all the lines and colours are transformed into a blur.”
“I love that car. It’s turned out better than the artwork,” he famously said. M1 fans would agree.
• From the September edition of Wanted 2019.