BMW R1200R ‘Flash’ Art Bike

BMW R1200R ‘Flash’ Art Bike

International fashion and design house Eley Kishimoto kicked off London Fashion Week with an exciting collaboration with BMW Motorrad and a number of contemporary lifestyle brands. The range — entitled ‘FLASH ON WEEK’, which alludes to Eley Kishimoto’s work with simple, bold flash prints and artwork — was debuted in a three-day exhibition held at Shoreditch Studios in central London.

The largest and most striking element of the exhibition was a BMW R1200R roadster motorcycle subtly altered with Eley Kishimoto’s signature monochrome Flash graphic on the bodywork. Eley Kishimoto also created a stark, screen-printed fabric poster incorporating elements of BMW Motorrad’s design and heritage and their own unique style.

A BMW R1200R roadster motorcycle subtly altered with Eley Kishimoto’s signature monochrome Flash graphic on the bodywork.

Eley Kishimoto also created a stark, screen-printed fabric poster incorporating elements of BMW Motorrad’s design and heritage and their own unique style. Photo by Kumi Saito

Over one thousand visitors saw ‘FLASH ON WEEK’ and it has been widely praised, with hundreds of independent news websites and fashion bloggers reflecting on the exhibition. The R1200R was provided by BMW Motorrad France and the Flash design applied by artists, and husband and wife, Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto.

Mark Eley, artist and motorcycle enthusiast, said, “I’m very happy to have this opportunity to unite all collaborators under one banner: Flash. The fact that all our partners, including BMW Motorrad, were happy to be included with no hesitation, takes this to a new level for us. The R1200R is a very striking motorcycle, something which is only emphasized by applying our Flash design to the bodywork.”

Mark Eley, artist and motorcycle enthusiast, with the R1200R. Photo by Dimitri Coste

BMW has a long tradition of supporting art projects. This began in 1975 with the first BMW Art Car — where a BMW 3.0 CSL was used as a living canvas. The unique car was created by Alexander Calder and inspired a further 17 collaborative works with artists including Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and, in 2010, Jeff Koons. American artist Koons created a vividly-painted endurance racing M3 GT2 for the prestigious Le Mans 24-hour race.

The first "Art Car," BMW 3.0 CSL by Alexander Calder (1975)

The most recent "Art Car," M3 GT2 by Jeff Koons (2010)

Sébastien Lorentz, BMW Motorrad France’s Marketing Manager, said, “Mark Eley is a true motorcycle enthusiast. We love his work with Flash on a variety of objects and surfaces. We supplied him with a BMW R1200R to work with — it’s an iconic bike which combines modern and classic design elements. Eley Kishimoto has beautifully applied the Flash motif to the tank and body panels which has enhanced and emphasized the lines and looks of the motorcycle.”

If you look closely, you’ll see the R1200R isn’t a stock bike. BMW took the opportunity to customize the bike with a few BMW Motorrad accessories. Sébastien Lorentz said, “For the moment there is no plan to manufacture this model, however, if there is the demand, we could perhaps consider making a limited number of special-edition BMW R1200R Eley Kishimoto bikes…”

Photo by Dimitri Coste

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