The first BMW Art Car – a 3.0 CSL created by American sculptor Alexander Calder – was unveiled in 1975. Eighteen Art Cars and 46 years later, the German manufacturer has debuted “The Ultimate AI Masterpiece”, revealing a series of Art Car designs for the 8 Series Gran Coupé.

“A unique exploration of art and technology that uses artificial intelligence to generate entirely new works,” “The Ultimate AI Masterpiece” is a virtual art installation which premieres in conjunction with Frieze New York 2021 and the 50th anniversary of BMW Group Cultural Engagement and was created in partnership with creative technologist Nathan Sharply and Gary Yeh, an art collector and founder of ArtDrunk.

Together, Shipley and Yeh used Nvidia’s open source “StyleGAN” AI software to cross-reference over 50 000 images of artwork spanning 900 years and a curated set of 50 works from emerging contemporary artists BMW has worked with over the past five decades. These inputs are used by the AI software as basis for understanding art. From what it has learned, the AI software then generates new works of art, which are projection-mapped onto a virtual rendition of the 8 Series Gran Coupé.

“Combining the historical works with the curated modern works and projecting the evolving images onto the 8 Series Gran Coupé serves a direct nod to BMW’s history of uniting automobiles, art, and technology”, Shiply says. Said Yeh, “it was particularly exciting to push the boundaries of art, see how technology may influence the art world in the years to come, and build on 50 years of cultural engagement at BMW.”