Two years ago, Romanian artist Adrian Mitu created one of the most impressive BMW-related art projects that we have ever seen. Visitors to the BMW CCA Foundation museum in Greer, South Carolina, where it is on permanent display, have stood mesmerized by the scope of the project, called “Blue Coffee.” It consists of 101 paintings created within 30 days by Mitu, and it is quite impressive.
Earlier this month, Mitu finished the sequel to “Blue Coffee.” The new work is titled “Blue Hero,” and it, too, is coming to the BMW CCA Foundation museum for all of us to enjoy.
“Blue Coffee” commemorated BMW’s 100th anniversary in 2016. The 101 paintings depicted scenes from the company’s history, with a special emphasis on BMW motorsports. “Blue Hero” concentrates on one individual: Jochen Neerpasch, the legendary first director of BMW Motorsport and the man most responsible for setting BMW’s racing course from the 1970s onward.
“Blue Hero” is a large presentation consisting of fifteen panels that together constitute a storyboard almost six feet high and fifteen feet wide. The panels follow Neerpasch’s career along with his ties to BMW and other motorsports luminaries like Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet, and Niki Lauda. The work premiered in Bucharest, Romania, in the first week of April, with Neerpasch in attendance.
The blue in “Blue Hero” and “Blue Coffee” is the artist’s nod to the blue that is BMW’s defining color. Mitu used coffee as a special pigment for his watercolors, which gave his initial BMW artwork its name.
“Beyond cars and technology, people’s stories are stronger,” explains Mitu. “They create fascination and give substance to a brand story. From my point of view, Jochen Neerpasch has truly transformed BMW. Much of what BMW stands for today was created by Neerpasch more than 40 years ago—from BMW M to the BMW Art Car program. So he was the obvious choice as my ‘Blue Hero.’”
At the unveiling of the artwork, Jochen Neerpasch said, “It was a very impressive journey for me, being in Romania for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome, the interest shown, and the enthusiasm of the audience toward motorsport. Of course, I can’t leave out Adrian and the way he studied my career as a racing driver and manager in close detail, and visualizing it in a very original way. He is a great artist, and I thank him for the honor of becoming a ‘Blue Hero.'”
When “Blue Hero” arrives in the United States, where it will debut at the BMW CCA Foundation museum, Adrian Mitu himself is scheduled to attend the premiere. “Blue Hero” and “Blue Coffee” by themselves are worth a visit to the BMW CCA Foundation; the exhibit that opens May 18, “The Icon: 50 Years of the BMW 2002,” is also a great reason. Together, they have to be the must-see event for 2018 for BMW enthusiasts.—Scott Blazey
[Photos courtesy of BMW AG.]