BMW has collaborated with The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, to take over the landmark Great Eastern Street car park, in Shoreditch in the heart of the Olympic city's east end, for a unique exhibition of the BMW Art Car Collection.

Open until August 4, the free entry event is part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, claimed by its organisers to be the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic movements.

The BMW Art Car Collection started in 1975 when French racing driver and auctioneer Herve Poulain invited his friend Alexander Calder to design a car that married artistic excellence to "an already perfect object". The end result was a racing car that would ultimately compete in the Le Mans 24-hour race.

Since then, 16 artists including Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, and David Hockney, as well as Australians Michael Jagamara Nelson and Ken Done, have put brush to mobile BMW canvas.

In 1977, the most famous pop artist of all (for much longer than 15 minutes), Andy Warhol put his stamp on a racing version of the M1 sports car, saying "I have tried to give a vivid depiction of speed. If a car is really fast, all contours and colours will become blurred".

The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad is the London 2012 Festival. Running until September 9, 2012, the nationwide celebration brings together leading artists from across the world with the best from the UK.


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