BMW 100 years of history explored through 101 paintingsMay 18, 2017
101 series of watercolors dedicated to 100 years of BMW will travel for the first time to U.S. and will be exhibited at the BMW Car Club of America Foundation event “Heroes of Bavaria: 75 Years of BMW Motorsport”, starting May 19th. This is a culmination of a project that started in Romania, as a unique painting and storytelling marathon of 30 days.
Adrian Mitu is a painter that has established himself internationally through his automotive inspired art. He was commissioned by automotive museums and famous car collectors, like former tennis player Ion Ţiriac and he is the painter of the Concours d’Elegance Sinaia, the most prestigious Concours held in Romania. Supported by BMW Group Romania, Adrian Mitu embraced a unique journey to discover the most inspiring moments of BMW History. The main theme of the project was BMW Motorsport, as it offers visually powerful stories that fit the artist dynamic style.
With a special watercolor technique, Adrian uses coffee to paint.
“For me, coffee is a symbol of energy that fits perfectly the BMW Motorsport theme”, explains the painter. “It is technique that defines me – not only the final outcome is important, there is also the story behind my painting style. Furthermore, the warm coffee shades are in contrast with the cold watercolors and offer an excellent way to emphasize parts of the painting, to direct the attention of the viewer. These are the ingredients for a beautiful story, the Blue Coffee exhibition. The name is inspired by my technique and the most defining BMW color – blue.”
During 30 days of live painting session, Adrian created 101 paintings representing not only legendary racing cars, racing victories and racing heroes, but also stories that are not so well known. The public had the opportunity to discover the way the works were created, but also could explore the stories behind each painting in ad-hoc tours and storytelling sessions.
„First, we had to define the main topics and then the individual themes. Selecting legends, stories and heroes is always a very emotional, personal process. Afterwards, every day, Adrian received a list of stories, each represented by a selection of images. He had the full liberty to choose the ones that were the most appealing to him. Therefore, the end-result is an eclectic, individual expression of our dynamic history. I believe that this is what makes this exhibition so special”, stated Alex Şeremet, corporate communication manager of BMW Group Romania.
The final exhibition is an excellent platform for storytelling, a unique insight into the BMW Motorsport History. There are iconic models, like the BMW 328 Touring Coupe, a car that defined the BMW image for decades and disappeared two times to be rediscovered again and, in the end, to be exhibited at the BMW Museum. So, you will not see only the most important racing victories of this car – Le Mans in 1939 and Mille Miglia in 1940, but also a very rare representation of the car when it was used as a daily driver in the USA, in the late ’50. The same with the famous BMW 507 model, that is show in its defining moments: raced by Hans Stuck in the ’50, on a movie set, owned by Elvis Presley and as a barn find.
The project is focusing not only on racing drivers, but also on the legends that created the cars. It follows three main stories: Jochen Neerpasch, the creator of BMW M, and Paul Rosche and Alexander von Falkenhausen, two of the most important engine creators at BMW. There are also unique racing moments, like the famous Pflanzgarten Nürburgring jump, with Hans-Joachim Stuck in the air with different cars throughout the ‘70 – 3.0 CSL, 320 Gorup 5 or BMW M1.
Also featured are important racing victories that have maybe faded in the rich BMW history – like the first DTM race won by Harald Grohs with his 635CSi or the BMW 320d at the 1998 24h Nürburgring, the first major win for a diesel in motorsport history. And there are unexpected moments as well, like Diter Quester with his BMW M3 at the 1990 DTM Avus race, finishing the race in the 3rd position with the car overturned.
The exhibition is open to the public from Monday to Friday, and Saturday only on special request and is located at 190 Manatee Court, Greer, SC 29651, next to the BMW Performance Center and near the BMW Plant in Spartanburg. General Admission is $10, children 12 and under are free, Performance Center Guests – $5. The access is free for BMW Plant Employees with ID.