We live in an age where creative boundaries are only there to be broken. The line between distinct genres and styles has been blurred by expert multi-hyphenated artists and designers, so much so that it is a thing of the past. Why can’t musical artists play in video games? Who says ice cream brands can’t design shoes? And why shouldn’t a car become the canvas of art? Enter BMW x Joshua Vides. In collaboration with BMW M, Vides has redesigned and decorated a unique BMW X4 M Competition.
Los Angeles-based artist and founder of the Reality to Idea label, Joshua Vides is changing perceptions about partnerships, one project at a time. Having garnered attention for its monochrome and illusory versions of classic sneakers, Vides’ transformations were the basis for a number of high-profile projects. His latest, however, could be the biggest to date, and it holds a special place in the artist’s heart.
Since his earliest childhood, Vides remembers being fascinated by the almost mythical power of BMW, dreaming of one day owning his own. Now he’s designed one. In its signature style, Vides updated the BMW X4 M Competition for a new demographic. With its history in streetwear, Vides brings a contemporary touch to the German brand, “[Vides] understood perfectly how to highlight the design and lines of this vehicle with his artistic work. This is a unique collaboration with the arts scene in Los Angeles and beyond, ”notes Markus Flasch, CEO of BMW M GmbH.
But, while the partnership is a wise move for BMW, it goes much deeper than that. In fact, BMW x Joshua Vides represents a dream come true for Vides. We caught up with the man himself to find out more about his relationship with BMW M and what this project really means to him.
Why does your style translate so naturally into the world of objects?
Joshua Vides: The whole concept of Reality to Idea is to highlight the shape and ideation process of an object. This means that each object receives a specific design for its final shape. If I drew a screw, you couldn’t use this illustration on a nut. With this approach, each product is different from the next and I think that is why the concept continues to develop.
Was it difficult to start translating your streetwear roots into more well-known official collaborations?
In fact, I’m doing exactly what I did as a streetwear owner. I create my own world that allows others to be involved through the design, the experience and the product. What was my graphic t-shirt is now my canvas or my sculpture, what was a pop-up shop is now my artistic experience, and what was my product still is with a rise in quality and an introduction to global partnerships .
Have you always imagined that your style applied to the automobile? How does your process change when working on a vehicle versus a sneaker, for example?
Organically, my work covers my interests. If you look at what I have painted or accomplished over the past few years, I have a real connection to all of these objects and spaces. I painted my first car in 2018 without any partnership, only because I wanted to. As for the process, everything is quite similar: it all starts with a sketch, goes to the digital world for modifications, then I take the brush. I just leave enough free space while painting so that I can improvise additional details.
We’ve seen a bunch of fashion-automotive crossovers over the past couple of seasons. Why do you think the two industries started to work so closely together?
Well, think back to the Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer Edition! It has been going on for decades now, but the conversation is very different today. People like me and other like-minded creatives bring more to the table. It’s one thing to license a brand and put a logo on a car, it’s another to work with a creative to redesign a vehicle from top to bottom, create experiences and products. incredible take-out of the moment on a global scale.
So, do you think the growing number of automotive collaborations is a sign of things to come?
I think it’s similar to haute couture. Times are changing and the youth is now more recognized than ever. The doors open and we are all ready to take the keys. I’m excited to see what automotive collaborations will look like 10 years from now, and am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to be part of the master plan.
BMW models, especially models like the E30, have always had a great synergy with the worlds of style and music. Did this influence your vision for the brand?
The E30 body was a game-changer. I remember seeing Will Smith stepping out of a black 325i Cabrio in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or Money-Makin ‘Mitch crossing the red 315 convertible in Paid in Full. For me and for many others, the car was a sign of success. I’ve been a BMW fan since the early 90s and it was thanks to the E30 M3. I remember someone in Rialto had an Alpine White E30 on gold BBS rims, and no matter what I was doing at the time, I would stop and watch.
Did you have any surprises while working on the car?
Not at all. My only obstacle was creating the look and feel of a moving vehicle, as I have never run a car this way. I’m really happy with the final design and can’t wait for everyone to see it.
Finally, what is the link between your work and BMW? What does the partnership mean to you?
I think BMW and I share a similar work ethic and attention to detail. We value each other for what we’ve accomplished in our own categories, and that’s why this collaboration makes sense. I have been a BMW fan for most of my life. The connection between my job and BMW existed long before I knew what a BMW was. And hey, look at the other artists that BMW has worked with. I’m just happy to be here.
The BMW X4 M Competition World Premiere by Joshua Vides was held at the Exclusive [SPACE] by the BMW showroom at The Grove in Los Angeles. Along with the BMW X4 M competition, there was a collection of merchandise that included t-shirts, sweaters, pins and mugs, as well as items from professional skater Ishod Wair. The unique car is now open to the public for a vernissage with works by Vides.