Red BMW (1987) Kunst & Vaarwerk

Aad Hoogendoorn
About the artwork

One of the best-known works of Kunst & Vaarwerk still causes surprise to those who see it for the first time. Halfway the Poortstraat, half a red BMW protrudes from the facade, as if an accident had just taken place. But the 'Red BMW' is a striking pop art-like art object, which has been hanging in the facade since 1987. It fits well in this part of the city because of its high-rise buildings, of which on the one hand it sings about commerce and prosperity and on the other it breaks the strict lines with a joke. The shiny decor of the many reflective architecture is a great place for this artwork. "The gray city needed a bombardment of color," according to Cor Kraat, one of the three men from the artists' collective Kunst & Vaarwerk. They approached the city with humor, of which this work is a good example. The private financier of the artwork is mentioned on the number plate. Originally, Kunst & Vaarwerk had in mind a wall of the parking garage of the Bijenkorf.

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About the artist

Kunst & Vaarwerk was an artists' group consisting of Cor Kraat (1946), Hans Citroen (1946) and Willem van Drunen (1947) and existed from 1979 to 1992. Kunst & Vaarwerk was a Dutch pop-art variant, which returned to the harsh urbanity with humor and irony. The scale of the port city required an art of size and brutality, but it is also an art against forgetfulness. The group worked with the Rotterdam business community to finance the projects and has realized various works in public spaces.

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