Since the 1970s, BMW's Art Car collection has proven that works of art don't need to stay stationary in a museum.

At the recent Art Fair Paris Photo Los Angeles (yes, that's really what it's called) show, BMW unveiled a book commemorating this unique contribution to the arts.

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Published by Hantje Cantz, the book chronicles the nearly-40-year history of the BMW Art Car Collection through 195 pages and 148 photos. It also comes with a slip case that serves as a convenient "parking space." Jeff Koons--who designed the last BMW Art Car--created the cover.

The Art Car phenomenon started when French race driver Herve Poulain and BMW Motorsport director Jochen Neerpasch asked Poulain's artist friend Alexander Calder--famous for his mobiles--to design a paint scheme for a car. Calder's 3.0 CSL competed in the 1975 24 Hours of Le Mans, and launched the BMW Art Car collection.

Since then, 17 artists have designed cars for BMW. The list includes famous names like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, and the designs are as varied as the cars that form the canvases. From Warhol's hand-painted M1 racer to the neon speed streaks on Jeff Koons' M3 GT2, they're all worth a look.

The book will go on sale on Amazon in early June for $45.00. That's considerably less than what it would take to put either a vintage BMW or a valuable work of art in your home, but the book lets you enjoy both.


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