»New Horizon« Art Car BMW E3: Pop art on four wheels

While others painted eggs at Easter, pop artist Heiner Meyer brought his iconic, colorful designs to the car. In this case, he gave a BMW E3 the zeitgeist of the future-optimistic late sixties.
Text Natalie Diedrichs
Photo Matthias Mederer

The colorful art car is called »New Horizon« and was created as part of an art project initiated by the Frankfurt lawyer Christian Zschocke. For the art lover and car enthusiast, the BMW E3 is above all a cult object with a timeless symbolic character, a car that should always inspire courage for the future and the change of things.

With his graphic design, the Bielefeld artist Heiner Meyer won in 2016 the tender of a renowned jury, which Zschocke had called together. In an interview, Meyer explains the stories the New Horizon tells, what the special claim of creating sculptures is, and how his unbroken will to become an artist not only brought him far ahead, but also to very special places. Among other things about Salvador Dalí.




How did this design come about?
First, I wanted to refer to the time in which the car was made. So, I asked myself: What interests me? What happened around 68, 69? It was immediately clear - the American moon landing. Then, of course, the wedding of Pop Art with Rauschenberg, with Lichtenstein, and the climax of the Pink Panther series - things you somehow still have in your head from your childhood. So, there were certain parameters set for me that I wanted to work with.

»It was immediately clear - the American moon landing. Then, of course, the wedding of Pop Art with Rauschenberg, with Lichtenstein, and the climax of the Pink Panther series.«

What is special about painting a car instead of a canvas?
Fortunately, I don't just work in two dimensions. That means I don't just try to create a three-dimensionality on the canvas, but I also make sculptures. So, I could also see the car as a sculpture. It's about bringing together different image surfaces, which then flow homogeneously across the car or even interrupt these forms at times. Or to tell a different story on each side of the car.

What stories does the New Horizon tell?
On the one side, for example, there's the upside-down sign of Apollo eleven, with the moon craters, which in this case are now upside down. So that refers to the moon landing. On the other side is this rather trivial subject, the Pink Panther. On top of the roof is the BMW logo, actually a stationary propeller. I have now practically set the propeller in motion. This creates a target. And then there is this New to it, from »New Horizon«.

»It's about bringing together different image surfaces, which then flow homogeneously across the car or even interrupt these forms at times. Or to tell a different story on each side of the car.«

In 1969, you were a teenager. How did you perceive time back then?
I guess you could say I oriented myself to that time. I went to many different boarding schools, because the headmasters always told my parents that I should try something different. I was always »recommended« to go to another place, so that today I could go to a different class reunion somewhere almost every week now.

Nevertheless, you became an influential artist.
And I wanted to do something in the direction of art even then. That was clear to me. But of course, my parents hoped that I would learn something clever that would help me make money.

»And I wanted to do something in the direction of art even then. That was clear to me. But of course, my parents hoped that I would learn something clever that would help me make money.«

And you stuck to your plan, apparently?
Yes, I finally got my way. Otherwise, I'd blame myself today for missing out on things in life.

A few years later, you were working for Salvador Dalí.
Right, I was his assistant. I kept order, looked after his guests, including many celebrities. Amanda Lear was always there, Bryan Ferry from Roxy Music and so on.

What did you take with you from your time with Dali?
Of course, I showed him my works occasionally. Then he told me that I shouldn't try to paint a picture of the century, but to observe things properly and only then to put them into practice. He gave me a loaf of white bread, which I had to draw every day. I always thought that I did it well, and he said »No, this is some random loaf of bread. It's not this loaf of bread. « It wasn't until two months later that every hole was in the right place and the crust was really just like this bread, which at that point naturally was dried out. Looking, checking, accuracy, not being satisfied with anything - that's what I took away from my time with Dalí as the essence of my work, and I think that still shapes my work today.



More Information on the New Horizon Art Car can be found on www.e3-wundercar.com or on Instagram: @newhorizonartcar



Heiner Meyer (Born 1953) is a visual artist from Bielefeld. His works and sculptures inspired by Pop Art have been part of more than 250 exhibitions around the world - from Beijing to San Francisco. Meyer's art is known for not only depicting a certain moment, but for telling whole stories. Inspired by the New Horizon project, Meyer has also created a 13-part series of works that pick up essential aspects of the art car. For more information, visit www.galerie-von-stechow.com.


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