This morning’s New York Times had an article and slideshow on BMW’s painted by more or less famous artists. My favorite is the design by Cesar Manrique, shown here a bit smaller than in the slideshow:

Now it may seem a long way from the Le Mans of HervĂ© Poulain or even from New York’s Grand Central Terminal, but the small Montana town of West Yellowstone (as the name suggests, just west of Yellowstone National Park) did a similar thing a couple years ago when they commissioned local artists to paint life-size bison sculptures that were placed around town.

Especially interesting here, from an artistic point of view (but I don’t neglect the relevance, especially these days, of the commercial significance), is the reversal of the common problem of representing 3-D space in a 2-D painting. Here the painter’s 2-D mindset must deal with the 3-D-ness of the sculptures. That means not only non-flatness and the volumetric cues, but the fact that the surface is not simply a distorted rectangle, but wraps around and contacts itself in multiple ways.

more… »