BMW Virtual Art Car

No word on whether an NFT is involved

By Gary S. Vasilash

BMW has long been a leader in supporting artists through providing them with a highly visible canvas: a BMW vehicle. So there have been “BMW Art Cars” painted by John Baldessari, Alexander Calder, Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, etc.

BMW has been doing this for 50 years.

The OEM has contracted with Nathan Shipley, director of creative technology at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and Gary Yeh, founder of artDrunk, to create “The Ultimate AI Masterpiece.”

The BMW “Ultimate AI Masterpiece,” based on an 8 Series. (Image: BMW)

On a simple level, they used a system based on an NVIDIA StyleGAN AI model to scan over 50,000 artworks over a 900-year period. They added in not only the artists who had done Art Cars, but also works from emerging artists.

And the result was projection mapped onto a BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe. Or at least a virtual rendition of one.

Said Shipley: “AI is an emerging medium of creative expression. It’s a fascinating space where art meets algorithm. Combining the historical works with the curated modern works and projecting the evolving images onto the 8 Series Gran Coupe serves a direct nod to BMW’s history of uniting automobiles, art, and technology.”

That said, somehow the actual artists doing work on actual cars seems like more of an execution of creative expression than running an algorithm.

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