"RACING AFTER RICHTER" (2012) is part of CARJACKED, a project developed by Coll.eo in 2012.

CARJACKED consists of 17 BMW cars created by Coll.eo with the Livery editor of the popular videogame Forza Motorsport 4 (Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Game Studios, 2011) for the Xbox 360.

This project represents the digital counterpart of the ongoing BMW Art Cars initiative, which was launched in 1975. That year, French hobby race car driver and auctioneer Hervé Poulain invited American artist and friend Alexander Calder to paint the first BMW Art Car. Calder’s customization was soon followed by several others by world renown artists such as Frank Stella (1976), Roy Lichtenstein (1977), and Andy Warhol (1979).

With CARJACKED, Coll.eo is introducing a much needed update to the BMW Art Cars initiative, re-configuring the project for the digital age, where cars’ collateral damage is less manifest but equally insidious. Coll.eo hijacked the project from the German automaker and selected a new generation of artists. Third, CARJACKED is a re-imagining of BMW’s initiative in a ludic domain, specifically in the popular Forza Motorsport series.

Interestingly, the BMW Art Cars were originally driven on race circuits by professional pilots. Today, they are mostly used to promote the car manufacturer's brand. Calder’s 1975 art car made its debut not in a gallery or museum, but on a racetrack. Things, however, have changed. A former gallerist and art critic with a Ph.D in art history who is also the director of the BMW Art Cars project since 2004, Thomas Girst explains:

In the beginning the cars were raced. There wasn't much of a public relations effort around them... Since then, some of the Art Cars have been used in advertisements to show that BMW is a player in the arts. [...] As a company, we are not altruistically involved in the arts, that is for sure. We, of course, want to build up the image: the image of BMW. We want a positive association from our engagement in the arts for the brand as a whole. Over the years, our involvement in blue-chip art fairs like Art Basel Miami Beach, Art Basel, and Frieze London has certainly had an “in your face” approach: we want to be there with our cars, shuttle the VIPs, and thus create visibility, presence, and exposure for our brand within a commercial enterprise. (Girst, quoted in Preece, 2009)

CARJACKED brings the aura of the motor vehicle back into the game. Literally: these virtual cars are playable works of art. Players can now race their one-of-a-kind masterpieces in a sophisticated interactive car advertisement produced by Microsoft within Forza Motorsport 4.

The CARJACKED series by Coll.eo comprises seventeen playable cars after Jackson Pollock, Piet Mondrian, Cy Twombly, Barbara Kruger, Damien Hirst, Maurizio Cattelan, Gerhard Richter, Yayoi Kusama, Sol LeWitt, Julian Opie, Bansky, Frank West, and many others. Ten of these cars are currently on display online.

For more details: colleo.org

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