Flour power: Andy Warhol’s BMW M1 targeted by climate protests

Flour power: Andy Warhol's BMW M1 targeted by climate protests

Climate activists in Italy have thrown flour at one of BMW’s most famous “art cars,” hand-painted by famed artist Andy Warhol in 1979.

One of the most famous vehicles from the BMW Art Approxr series was Target of climate protests in Italy.

The BMW M1, painted by famed American pop artist Andy Warhol in 1979, has been dusted with eight kilograms of flour to draw attention to environmental issues that protesters claim are being ignored.

“Our society is obsessed with objects, but has no interest in protecting their children’s future. We cannot accept that,” the group Ultima Generazione (Last Generation) wrote in a translated statement Published on Twitter.

“Art is as priceless as it is defenseless,” said a spokesman for BMW Journey.

“It belongs to all of humanity and reflects the great achievements of which each and every one of us is capable. Andy Warhol’s 1979 Art Car is a unique masterpiece and we have no sympathy for a violent attack that mars the artist’s decades-old achievement.”

Warhol’s BMW M1 racing car was fourth in line, and it reportedly took the artist 23 minutes to complete.

It was the first time an Art Car was painted directly – rather than having a design transferred from a scale model as had previously been the case – and the vehicle entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the same year with BMW’s Art Car founders Herve Poulain.

Since Andy Calder painted a BMW 3.0 CSL for Mr Poulain in 1975, around 20 Art Cars have been created, with the list including Australian artists Michael Nelson Jagamarra and Ken Done, both of whom painted 1989 E30 generation M3s.

The environmental group this month vandalized three priceless art exhibits, dumping soup on a Van Gogh piece and black liquid on a Gustav Klimt painting – both unharmed thanks to protective glass panes.

The flour attack on the M1 is unlikely to have caused any lasting damage to the car – which appears to be part of the protesters’ modus operandi.

Ben Zechariah

Ben Zachariah is a veteran Melbourne-based writer and motoring journalist who has worked in the automotive industry for over 15 years. Previously a truck driver, Ben completed his MBA in Finance in early 2021. He is considered an expert in the field of classic car investments.

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