FolkestoneJack's Tracks

A visit to a car park… to see cars!

Posted in England, London by folkestonejack on July 21, 2012

I have been to some unusual locations to see art exhibitions but few can beat the unlikely prospect of the NCP Car Park on Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch – the location for Art Drive!, an exhibition organised by the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA).

For a fortnight six floors of the car park have become exhibition spaces for 16 of BMW’s distinctive art cars. Right up until the last minute you think that surely this can’t be the place, with all the activity surrounding the American Carwash at ground level but then you turn the corner and the Art Drive! posters take over, steering you into the multi-storey car park.

An unlikely arts venue… the NCP Car Park on Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch

Once inside, you are directed into a vehicle lift that takes you up to the first exhibits on the seventh floor and from this point on you can begin making your way slowly back down, taking in the two or three cars on display on each level. The designs are fascinating, if sometimes hard to like. It’s certainly well worth a visit to get the full (if slightly surreal) experience.

BMW M3 GT2 designed by Jeff Koons, 2010

The BMW Art Car project began in 1975 and has seen 17 BMWs given a unique design by artists that have included Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and David Hockney. Jeff Koon’s design for the most recent art car in 2010 was perhaps the most compelling for me – a BMW M3 GT plastered with hundreds of streaks of colour that convey speed and drama even when it is sitting quietly on the last floor of the exhibition.

The exhibition is open from 12-9pm until 4th August 2012 and admission is free.

More photos from the exhibition

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