American Marketer


BMW celebrates its history with artful look at the past

May 23, 2017

BMW's history in paintings by Adrian Mitu


German automaker BMW is painting a picture of its last 100 years, as part of the growing number of brands continuing to lean on art for a luxury perception.

The “Blue Coffee” exhibition, named for BMW’s iconic color and the medium of which the art was made, will be coming to the United States. BMW's exhibit opened May 19 and features paintings that represent the past 100 years of the automaker's narrative.

"World-class brands like BMW maintain their stature by elevating their story beyond mere product," said David Doze, founder and CEO of Pilot PMR. "This effort certainly does that.

"The exhibition raises BMW’s involvement in motorsport to legendary status worthy of artistic interpretation," he said.

Mr. Doze is not affiliated with BMW but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Art and innovation
Artist Adrian Mitu, commissioned by automotive museums and famous car collectors, created a series of 101 watercolor paintings made out of coffee. Each painting represents a moment to celebrate BMW’s 100 years.

The exhibit showcases important moments in BMW history

Recently celebrating its 100th birthday, BMW is hoping to continue establishing its long history as a symbol of luxury.

The project started in Romani as part of a 30-day storytelling marathon in which the artist painted the project in front of a live audience. The exhibit has been displayed for the first time in the U.S. as part of the BMW Car Club of America Foundation event “Heroes of Bavaria: 75 Years of BMW Motorsport.”

Mr. Mitu explained that he used coffee as the medium for the project to represent the energy that the BMW brand evokes.

Blue Coffee features a variety of BMW memories throughout the automaker’s history including racing cars and daily drivers such as the Le Mans victory in 1939, the BMW 328 Touring Coupe on the road and BMW 507 model on a film set.

Iconic racing drivers are shown as part of the exhibit as well as important engineers behind its famous models. The project showcases important moments in BMW history such as the design process for its best engines and major winning events in racing.

The exhibit showcases important moments in BMW history

Fans of BMW can visit the exhibit next to the BMW Performance Center Monday through Friday, and only by special request on Saturdays. Admission for adults is $10 and free for children under the age of 12 as well as BMW Plant employees.

BMW celebration
The exhibition is part of BMW’s celebration for its 100th anniversary. The German automaker also marked its centennial not only by looking back, but also by looking forward.

On the morning of March 7 of last year, the BMW Group Classic building opened its doors to journalists for the first time and gave a press conference detailing its centenary, with a celebration and multimedia of the brand’s history and accomplishments following later that afternoon. Rather than contenting itself with prior achievements, however, the brand’s milestone motto is “The Next 100 Years,” and a series of events, publications and technological advancements will help the brand maintain its status over that time period (see more).

BMW also recently released the first teaser for its forthcoming 8 Series Coupe concept car, which will debut fully later this month at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Lake Como, Italy.

The teaser takes the form of a stylish minimalist poster depicting the obscured silhouette of the car. The image was revealed at BMW’s Annual General Meeting in anticipation of the car’s debut on May 26 (see more).

"It certainly says something when a brand can ignite the level of enthusiasm demonstrated by this artist," Mr. Doze said. "The loyal BMW owner is someone who is drawn to this kind of passion and pedigree."