Artist portrays 100 years of BMW history in 101 stunning coffee paintings

Motorsports never had this sort of flavor before

Educated as an architect, Adrian Mitu uses coffee and a particular aquarelle technique to draw a strong-flavored world of automobiles. He is also the creative mind behind the Blue Coffee project – a collection of 101 coffee paintings that narrate through 100 years of BMW history.

Adhering to BMW Motorsport as the general theme, the collection features striking visuals spread over 101 paintings crafted over 30 live painting sessions.

"For me, it's not just about the outcome. There's a story behind my painting style. The warm coffee shades go against the cold watercolor palette and allow me to divert the viewer's focus on various points in the painting. The project's name comes from linking my technique to BMW's defining color, which is blue."

Although primarily centered on legendary race cars and cornerstone flashes from BMW's past and present involvement in motorsports, the set is also a tribute to both machine and man. Not just the drivers, but also the legendary figures behind the automobiles.

In this regard, the collection threads the story of three BMW crafters: Jochen Neerpasch, the man who started BMW M, Paul Rosche and Alexander von Falkenhausen, also known as the BMW Baron.

"Selecting the legends, the stories and the heroes is always an emotional and personal process. Every day, Adrian was given a new set of stories, told by a selection of pictures. He had full liberty of choice in selecting what he found most attractive. Therefore, the final result is an individual expression of our dynamic history, which ultimately makes this collection so unique."

Alex Seremet, Chief of Corporate Communications, BMW Group Romania

The cars

BMW's presence in the field of motorsports is the antonym of short. But the Blue Coffee collection starts with the BMW 328 Touring Coupé and its victories at Le Mans (1939) and Mille Miglia (1940) and grazes its way to Elvis Presley's BMW 507 in the hands of Hans Stuck, next to Elvis on the movie set and as a barn find some decades later.

As they browse through the years, the paintings brush on to the big league of the 1970s, the days of the BMW 3.0 CSL and M1. In the process, Adrian builds an image of victorious moments – like Harald Grohs' DTM victory behind the wheel of his BMW 635CSi – intertwined with dramatic circumstances – like that time in 1990 when Dieter Quester's BMW M3 DTM flipped over right before crossing the finish line in Avus, "forcing" him to finish third.

The Blue Coffee collection is set to travel to the United States, where it will be showcased during the Heroes of Bavaria: 75 Years of BMW Motorsport event hosted by BMW Car Club of America Foundation on May 22.

It will remain open throughout the summer at 190 Manatee Court, Greer, South Carolina. There's a $10 entry fee or $5 for those who visit the BMW Performance Center. Entrance is free for BMW Spartanburg plant employees and children under the age of 12.