Remember those cool roof decals and graphics that Mini offers? There are several versions of the Union Jack flag, a checkered flag, and various other deigns, but now, Mini USA is working with first-generation and immigrant artists to use the rooftops of Mini models as a canvas for their work.
“Mini is all about self-expression, and the rooftops convey this in its purest form,” said Mike Peyton, vice president, Mini of the Americas. Now they will become true works of art. This special collaboration is part of the Mini brand campaign Big Love—two short words with the power to inspire a world of positive action. The motto is: “We’re all different, but pretty good together.”
The commissioned art will be offered in the U.S. for a limited time in the form of Mini rooftop customization options, and the pieces will also be displayed as murals in the Brooklyn and SoHo neighborhoods of New York, as well as Portland, Oregon.
Mini is working with three artists on the project, and also plans to make a donation to the American Immigration Council in support of its mission. The backgrounds of the artists and their work are described below:
Rich Tu is an artist and designer based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a first-generation Filipino American who is particularly interested in culture and the future. Tu hosts First Generation Burden, a podcast focusing on the integration of immigrants in the creative community.
Striking colours, inherent movement and images full of detail are the prevailing features of his highly personal works. Tu’s powerful visual style is inspired by his three passions: community, social justice, and reflection on the first-generation immigrant experience through self-expression. His work is entitled “Hiraya”, which is derived from an old Filipino word meaning “fruit of hopes, dreams, and aspirations.”
Shane Griffin, also known as ‘Grif’, is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary visual artist and director who is originally from Dublin and now based in New York. Grif has worked with many pop culture icons, including Kanye West, Kid Cudi, and Wiz Khalifa. Mainly drawing on surrealism and abstraction, Grif’s work spans the entire spectrum of print, sculpture, animation, and live-action film. Shane’s work is entitled “ChromaFlow.”
Shawna X is an independent artist and visual director with roots in Portland who lives in New York. She is known for her vivid, impassioned, and graphic style of visual design in digital, spatial, and motion spaces. X is a reference to her Chinese name Xiayun (Sia-yoon, the word for the shrub Ruta montana). Shawna’s work is entitled “Roads we travel” and is a visual expression of the paths that bring us together.
“Rich Tu, Shane Griffin, Shawna X, and Mini Big Love exemplify how beauty and strength can come from talented people from diverse backgrounds working together,” said Wendy Feliz, director of the American Immigration Council’s Center for Inclusion and Belonging. “We’re proud and happy to be able to benefit from these outstanding works of art and we look forward to celebrating them and the artists who created them.”
The original Mini design of 1959 was penned by Alec Issigonis, a British engineer with Greek roots.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]