CARJACKED (After Yayoi Kusama)

Coll.eo, 2012

Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), the most famous living female Japanese artist, is back on her trippy polka-dot 2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35is. Wearing a black and yellow kimono and sporting a brand new Louis Vuitton bag, the Japanese artist is driving at 120 mph in the Artworld's fast lane. The slick Teutonic car is hallucinogenic, psychedelic, ostentatious, and terribly elegant. Cute, and yet aggressive, like Kusama’s herself. Her work is incredibly eclectic: she explores themes of infinite repetition, self-image, and sexuality in a variety of styles - conceptual art, minimalism, feminism, Art brut, pop art, surrealism, and abstract expressionism.

This project is an integral part of Kusama’s entrepreneurial art making collaboration for global brands, including KDDI Corporation (handbag-shaped cell phone), Lancome (lip glosses), Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton (leather goods, accessories, shoes, watches, jewelry), and many more. The artist, who represented Japan at the Venice Biennale in 1993, has played with car projects before. In the Summer of 2010, she painted a black Toyota PRIUS with bright pink dots. The same year, she designed a Town Sneaker-model bus which she called Mizutama Ranbu (Wild Polka Dot Dance) which travels through her hometown of Matsumoto.

Nonetheless, her contribution to the virtual BMW Art Cars initiative is unmatched and unparalleled. This spectacular, exclusive, one-of-a-kind BMW is a triumph of form and style. It makes Damien Hirst’s previous dots-effort look spotty by comparison. The entire surface of this slick object of desire on wheels is compulsively covered with lush ebony dots. The repeating patterns used specifically in this collaboration are a perfect match for BMW. These "splashed like logos" are signifiers of European opulence. In fact, the driver of a Z4 sDrive35is gets the royal treatment with a refined driver-oriented interior and special accent surfaces like Brushed Aluminum or an optional Ash Grain Wood trim. This car also features an optional Exclusive Ivory White Leather Package with Anthracite wood trim, and Sport Seats covered in luxurious Nappa Leather. Kusama’s semicircular dots perfectly match the mildly psychopathic, lunatic, paranoid, and narcissistic nature of the average BMW driver.

Fasten your limited-edition leather seat-belt.

Image credit: Yayoi Kusama, Dots Obession, Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, 2011. Collection Yayoi Kusama. Image courtesy Yayoi Kusama Studio Inc.; Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo; Victoria Miro Gallery, London: and Gagosian Gallery New York.