Back in February when BMW digitally revealed the 8 X Jeff Koons at Frieze Los Angeles, the automaker also announced that the last of the 99 units produced would be auctioned by Christie’s on April 4 in New York City. All proceeds were to benefit the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), an organization with which Jeff Koons has reportedly been personally involved for over twenty years. The auction took place this week, and the final 8 X Jeff Koons produced sold for $475,000, or $125,000 more than the $350,000 MSRP of the other 98 examples, and is the only one to have actually been hand-signed by the artist. The auction was led by Christie’s deputy chairman and auctioneer Tash Perrin and hosted at Christie’s iconic Rockefeller Center auction house in New York City.
“From the choice of colors to its overall look and use of material, the 8 X Jeff Koons has a superhero feel to it. Giving to ICMEC and literally saving the lives of children is a superhero endeavor, now more than ever,” said Jeff Koons. “I am thrilled that the auction of the car was such a great success! It should encourage anyone to get involved and appreciate the great work foundations are doing globally to make the world a better place.”
“BMW is proud to support the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children through our collaboration with Jeff Koons and the auction of this special edition vehicle, the 8 X Jeff Koons,” explained Sebastian Mackensen, president and CEO, BMW of North America. “Acting with responsibility is an important quality of our company, so it is especially gratifying to know that the proceeds from this auction will support children in need.”
“We at ICMEC are so grateful for the generosity of the winning bidder, BMW, and especially Jeff Koons, whose partnership and support is instrumental in our efforts to help make the world safer for children,” said Bob Cunningham, ICMEC CEO. “The funds raised from this collaboration will help ICMEC respond to the critical challenges children face from the pandemic and forced migration. This generous contribution will help us to develop better technologies to locate and identify missing kids, including children who are lost, abducted, or trafficked in conflict areas, and to advocate for policies, laws, and interventions that better address issues like the proliferation of child sexual abuse material, online grooming, and live streaming that have emerged as even greater threats to children during the pandemic.”
“It is truly an honor for us to partner with the BMW Group and Jeff Koons in the live charity auction of the 8 X Jeff Koons,” said Bonnie Brennan, president of Christie’s Americas. “At Christie’s, we believe in the power of art and design to change lives and are very proud to raise funds to support the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, which has improved the lives of countless children around the world for the better.”
BMW produced a total of 99 examples of the 8 X Jeff Koons, all of which are based on the M850i Gran Coupé. Each example was subject to a highly complex 285-hour paint finish process occurring over eleven different sages. Koons worked closely with BMW Group Plants Dingolfing and Landshut to realize the model, where technicians with experience on the 7 Series and Rolls-Royce brand were tapped for their expertise. The interior of the 8 X Jeff Koons also features special leather appointments, and every example was accompanied by a large-format certificate of authenticity complete with the vehicle’s VIN and the signatures of BMW CEO Oliver Zipse and Koons. Koons previously collaborated with BMW in 2010 for the E92 M3 GT2 art car that later raced at Le Mans.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]